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Woolworths pay $580,299 in public liability compensation for one hot chip!

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Woolworths pay $580,299 in public liability compensation for one hot chip!

Public Liability Compensation is a very complex area of Law.

You are probably thinking ‘since when have hot chips got so expensive?’.  Well, since Woolworths failed to remove one from the floor of it’s shopping centre in Taree.

The High Court has found the giant supermarket chain negligent in allowing a greasy potato chip to remain on the floor for more than 20 minutes.  As a result of their negligence, Ms Kathryn Strong slipped on the chip which caused her to fall heavily to the floor and suffer a serious spinal injury.

Ms Strong sued Woolworths in the NSW District Court and won.  Her argument was, that had Woolworths inspected the area for greasy chips more frequently, her injury might not have happened.

Woolworths disputed this finding and took the case to the NSW Court of Appeal.  That Court ruled in favour of Woolworths stating that Ms Strong had failed to prove on the balance of probabilities that it’s negligence caused her fall.

However, Ms Strong took her battle of the chip all the way to the High Court and triumphed.  In a majority decision, four judges said that Woolworths should have taken reasonable care and removed the greasy chip from the floor much sooner.  The Court determined that a slipping hazard should be identified and removed if it has existed for at least 20 minutes or longer.

The outcome of this case is significant for people injured in shopping centres as it show stores must have a reasonable inspection and cleaning system in place to prevent injury to customers.

If you have been injured in a shopping centre or other public place, you could be entitled to public liability compensation.  Call our leading personal injury lawyer, Peter Moore today on 02 4324 7699 to find out where you stand.