Payout of $295K for slipping over in Coles
Supermarket heavyweight Coles has been forced to pay a NSW tradie a staggering $295,000 in damages following a 2016 slip and fall accident.
Glazier Paul Mansell was wearing thongs when he slipped on a puddle of iced coffee that had been spilt inside a Coles store in Vincentia on the NSW South Coast, the New South Wales District Court has heard.
According to Nine News, court documents revealed Mr Mansell, who is self-employed, landed on his right shoulder after the slip, which occurred in February 2016.
"His right shoulder and right side of his neck came into contact with the floor or a support post or his shopping basket, or perhaps all of those things," the documents said.
"Only one foot slipped. He had no opportunity to put out his hands to break his fall".
The 59-year-old was helped by other customers and a junior manager and he continued his shopping, however, later that night the pain in his shoulder worsened.
He was called by the store's manager the following day and was told CCTV footage showed the iced coffee had been spilt by a female shopper.
Mr Mansell asked for a copy of the footage "at least five times" but never received it, eventually being told it had been deleted.
The South Coast man returned to work after the accident and treated his injury with Nurofen before visiting a chiropractor, who recommended further medical examinations.
He then underwent an x-ray, ultrasound and an MRI which showed an "extensive tear".
As a result of the injury, Mr Mansell was unable to work and was forced to sell his business, which was sold for a "very modest" sum, according to court documents.
Mr Mansell then sued Coles for damages. During the two-day hearing the court heard that the glazier had "suffered a depressive episode" after the incident.
He claimed he now had trouble with everyday tasks like getting dressed and cooking, and that he now survived on income protection insurance worth $870 a week.
Justice David Russell heard that Coles employees were required to conduct floor inspections every hour and a half.
He ruled that Coles had failed to uphold their duty of care to Mr Mansell, and ordered the company to pay $293,597.30 in damages.
News.com.au contacted Coles for comment, but was told the company did not comment on legal matters.