Knee injury for fruit shop shopper slip & fall receives $150,000 compensation

Published 07 May 2015

Our 70-year old client was shopping in his local fruit shop with his wife and was approaching the registers to pay for their purchases when he slipped on a lettuce leaf and fractured his left knee.

The manager of the fruit shop was nearby at the time and saw our client fall.

The lettuce leaf had fallen off a large display of lettuce beside the cash registers. There were no mats around the display.

Knee Injury Medical issues

Our client had never had any problems with his left knee before the slip and fall in the fruit shop. As a result of the fall, he sustained a fractured left patella and had immediate surgery to repair the fracture by the insertion of a plate, wires and screws.

He had extensive physiotherapy which improved his condition. One year after the surgery he had the plate, wires and screws removed as he was still in a lot of pain. Following that surgery, the pain was much less.

He was told he will likely need a full knee replacement within the next 5-10 years which would also mean further physiotherapy treatment.

Court proceedings

We commenced Court proceedings against the owner of the fruit shop and claimed negligence for failing to have an adequate system of cleaning and inspection for spillage and a failure to place warning signage.

The fruit shop denied it was negligent and claimed our client failed to keep a proper lookout for his own safety and failed to avoid an obvious risk.

As a result of the slip and fall on the lettuce leaf our client needed assistance in carrying out his normal home duties. The fruit shop arranged a medical examination with an Orthopaedic Surgeon and he agreed our client would need at least 6 hours assistance per week indefinitely. The Orthopaedic Surgeon also agreed our client would need to have a full knee replacement within the next 5 years.

Compensation Settlement

The fruit shop was eager to attend an Informal Settlement Conference and the matter ultimately settled for $150,000 slip & fall compensation with part of the settlement moneys taking into account the future medical treatment our client would need for his full knee replacement, physiotherapy and medication.

Our client was extremely happy with the result even though he is still in a minimal amount of pain and notes he will ultimately need a full knee replacement.