Slip and fall in Pacific Fair – back injury – pre-existing back pain
The injured claimant was walking through Pacific Fair. She had just left the Reject Shop, and was able to produce a tax invoice showing a purchase was made at 1:39pm.
The claimant estimated that at 1:42pm she was heading towards the exit when her leg slipped, and she fell onto her knee, and then her tail bone.
She landed in a pool of red liquid, which she thought was some sort of juice or slushie.
There was a question as to when the cleaners for Pacific Fair had last been in the area. The Court found that a cleaner had not been in the area since approximately 1:15pm.
Decision and Relevant Law
The Courts have established that in public areas – such as shopping centres or supermarkets – the company in charge of the area needs to have a regular cleaning system, which ensures spills are not left for an unreasonable length of time.
The law balances the need for public safety with the impossibility of constantly having eyes on the entire area.
In this case, the claimant’s legal team accepted that if the area had been monitored within 26 minutes of the fall then that would have been good enough for the shopping centre to escape liability.
Unfortunately for the shopping centre, the Court found that it had been at least 27 minutes. As such, the Court held that the claimant should succeed in her claim.