Public Liability Case Examples

Public Liability Case Examples

To read about our public liability cases, please see the examples below:


 

The Case of the Supermarket Slip

The Problem

Whilst shopping at her regular supermarket, the client slipped on a puddle of water on the floor of an aisle, causing her to fall to the floor.  The client consequently fractured her hip and had to undertake surgery. 

The Resolution

Slater & Gordon argued on behalf of the client that the supermarket was required to have a regular system of cleaning and inspection in place and they failed to fulfil the duty of care owed to the client.  Investigation was undertaken to locate witnesses and discover documents to determine the amount of time the water was left on the floor. After ascertaining the full extent of the clients injuries and her future needs, court proceeding were issued and the matter settled soon after mediation.

The Outcome

The case settled on confidential terms, however Slater & Gordon was able to obtain compensation for the client’s pain and suffering and past and future medical expenses.  No claim was made for past and future loss of earnings as the client was retired.     

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The Case of the Faulty Children’s Play Equipment

The Problem

The child client was at school using the play equipment during recess.  He slipped and fell to the ground fracturing his elbow and damaging the growth plate within.  The client’s parents after examining the equipment soon noticed that the equipment was very high from the ground and there was inadequate cushioning fill on the ground.

The Resolution

Slater & Gordon immediately engaged an expert to comment on the requirements of the play equipment for a child in the client’s age group and found that the equipment and play area in question did not comply with relevant safety standards.  Numerous doctors were also engaged to help in predicting the child’s future needs and potential limitations.  Legal proceedings were issued, and the matter settled at mediation.

The Outcome

The child client was able to obtain compensation for his pain and suffering, past and most importantly future medical needs, the care that his parents had provided to him, and an allowance for the impact that his injury may have on his future working capacity.  The funds are held in court until he turns 18, with deductions made by his parents for his continuing treatment.

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The Case of the Physical Assault

The Problem

The client was enjoying himself with friends at his local pub, however continued to be hassled by a very intoxicated patron.  The client complained numerous times to the hotel staff however no action was taken.  The client was later assaulted by the patron for a number of minutes and sustained brain injury.  

The Resolution

Slater & Gordon explored possible claims against both the hotel and the patron, however it was ultimately determined the stronger case was against the hotel.  Witnesses were located and interviewed, police investigation material was acquired and once legal proceeding was issued CCTV footage of the assault was also obtained.  The matter settled by way of negotiated settlement soon after the Slater & Gordon were given the CCTV footage.

The Outcome

The client obtained compensation for his pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses (including home modification) and loss of earnings, which most importantly took into account his permanent severe limitations.

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The Case of the Dog Bite

The Problem

When walking her dog, the client’s dog was attacked by a strange dog that escaped from a nearby house.  Whilst attempting to separate the dogs the client was bitten and also fell heavily to the ground.  The client sustained injury to her knee as well as bite lacerations to her calf which required skin grafts.

The Resolution

The owner of the dog was identified and legal action was pursued against them arguing negligence as well as breach of specific animal statute.  The loss suffered by the client was fully identified and prior to legal proceedings being issued, the client was offered a generous settlement amount.

The Outcome

The client obtained compensation for her pain and suffering as well as her past medical expenses and past loss of earnings.

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The Case of the Falling Suitcase in an Aeroplane

The Problem

The client was on a holiday travelling overseas by aeroplane.  Mid flight another passenger opened the overhead luggage compartment and the client’s own bag fell onto his head causing damage to his neck.

The Resolution

Slater & Gordon argued that this incident fulfilled the requirements of an accident which caused personal injury under both international and federal law.  Legal proceedings were issued and the matter settled on confidential terms the day after mediation.

The Outcome

The client received compensation for her pain and suffering, past and future medical expense, and past loss of earnings.

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The Case of the Slippery Bike Track

The Problem

A cyclist suffered severe head injuries when she crashed into a metal guard rail on a section of bike path that had a very slippery surface.

The Resolution

It was necessary to show that the defendants were aware or ought to have been aware of the hazardous nature of that section of the bike path Legal action was brought against the owners, operators and builders of the bike path and extensive investigations and evidence including expert reports were obtained.

The Outcome

The case settled at mediation on confidential terms and the client obtained compensation for her pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses and loss of earnings, as well as to the care she was unable to provide to her elderly parents.

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The Case of the Wild Dingoes 

The Problem

The client lived next door to a breeder of dingoes, and one day the dingoes managed to bite their way through the fence and attack the client and her dogs.  As a result of the attack client was severely traumatised and suffered both psychological and physical injury.  

The Resolution

The investigation required Slater & Gordon to obtain evidence of the propensity of these dingoes to attack from various sources including council records by way of Freedom of Information.  As a result of the extensive investigations and available evidence the case was settled a few days before the trial.

The Outcome

The case settled for a substantial sum on confidential terms and did not go to trial.  The client obtained compensation for her pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and the damage caused to her dogs.

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The Case of the Exploding Glass Door

The Problem

When exiting commercial premises, a large glass door shattered into many pieces and a large piece of the door struck the client’s foot and caused multiple fractures.

The Resolution

It was difficult to determine who was responsible for the door’s construction and installation and multiple defendants were sued including the owner, occupier, builder, architect, engineer, sub contractors, glass door builder, and door designer.  After numerous expert opinions and interrogation of various stakeholders, Slater & Gordon were able to pinpoint with some degree of certainty who may have been at fault.  A mediation was held with these parties and the case resolved shortly after the mediation.

The Outcome

The case settled on confidential terms and it did not go to trial.  The client obtained compensation for his pain and suffering as well as past and future medical expenses (including the care that was provided to him) as well as loss of earnings.

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The Mystifying Case of Sudden Legionella Exposure

The Problem

Client attended Melbourne from country Victoria. A week later client was struck down by serious infection (cold and flu like symptoms).

The Resolution

The investigation required Slater & Gordon to obtain all documented cases of Legionella infection over the same period of time to determine whether some source of the legionella bacteria could be determined.  The questions for answering were: where did the Legionella bacteria found in the client’s lungs and bloodstream emanate from and could someone be found to be at fault.

Extensive investigations were conducted and numerous expert opinions obtained. Eventually legal proceedings were issued and in due course a mediation arranged. The case settled shortly after the mediation.

The Outcome

The plaintiff obtained compensation for her past medical expenses and her past loss of earnings.

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