Monday, 12 March, 2012
An Australian woman, who sustained serious spinal injuries after slipping on a chip that had been discarded close to the food counter of a local store, has had her slipped on food on shop floor claim for compensation upheld by the High Court in Sydney.
Kathryn Strong, an amputee who relies heavily on the aid of her crutches to walk, was passing the food counter of the Woolworths store at the Centro Taree Shopping Centre in New South Wales in September 2004, when she slipped on a greasy chip that had been left on the floor and fell heavily – sustaining serious spinal injuries.
Kathryn sued Woolworths in the New South Wales District Court for slipped on spilt food in supermarket compensation, claiming that their lack of reasonable care and failing to provide a safe thoroughfare had directly led to her injuries.
Kathryn won her slipped on food on shop floor claim and was awarded AU 580,299 dollars. However, the case was overturned on appeal by Woolworths on the grounds that Kathryn had not proven a lack of reasonable care and she was forced to take her claim to the High Court.
At the High Court in Sydney, the court´s judges ruled that “reasonable care” required Woolworths to inspect and remove slipping hazards at 20 minute intervals and, as Woolworths could not demonstrate that such a cleaning schedule was in place, “on the balance of probabilities” the store was liable for Kathryn´s injuries.
Re-instating the decision made at the New South Wales District Court, Kathryn was awarded AU 580,299 dollars plus costs in respect of her slipped on food on shop floor claim.
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