This case involved from an appeal from a decision of his Honour Judge RA Hulme in the Supreme Court entering Judgment in favour of Woolworths Limited.
The decision involved a factual analysis of whether or not Judge Hulme had made a judicial error in not finding that there was liquid on the floor and analysis of causation.
This case involved an analysis of Section 5D (1) (a) of the Civil Liability Act 2002.
His Honour basically found at first instance that whilst the Defendant should have had in place a system of monitoring and inspecting the floor to ensure that adequate precautions were taken by Woolworths Limited against the risk of customers such as the Plaintiff slipping and suffering injury on spillages. The Judge at first instance found that it was unrealistic for this monitoring and inspecting to have been extremely frequent or constant in order to detect any deleterious material that was deposited on the check-out lane area instantly.
His Honour noted that the area where the fall occurred was not in an area where there was a high risk of spillage such as immediately at the check out counters, where goods would be transferred from the shopping trolleys onto the counter. The Judge noted that an appropriate system of monitoring and inspecting would have given priority to areas at which the risk of slipping was greater. His Honour accordingly did not find causation in the Plaintiff’s favour, and did not find that even though it was more probable than not that the Defendant was negligent, he was not satisfied that the Defendant’s negligence caused the harm that was suffered by the Plaintiff.
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