Injured waitress gets six-figure compo from 'negligent' north Queensland cafe
Cardwell is in Far-North Queensland, where I come from, and I can understand well what is reported below. The old Australian "She'll be right, mate" gospel rules up there, implying a general disrespect for rules, regulations and precautions. Sadly, however, things are sometimes NOT right and the case below would seem to be an instance of that. I am pretty sure that in Cardwell the general opion would be that it was just bad luck but the learned judge has found otherwise so he may be right. As a man of the Far North, however, my respect for learned judges is not high. It is easy to be wise after the event about precautions that SHOULD have been taken
A Cafe operator that failed to properly guard against cooking oil spillage was ordered to pay $463,158 to a waitress who slipped on the kitchen floor, yesterday.
In the Supreme Court, Justice Peter Lyons found Mollking Holdings Pty Ltd, which ran a cafe and service station at Cardwell in north Queensland, had caused by its negligence injury to employee Cherrie Ann Jones.
Last month in Cairns, Justice Lyons ordered Mollking pay $470,628 in damages but he reopened the case to make an adjustment of the damages amount in Brisbane, yesterday.
He reduced the figure by $7469 to reflect compensation already paid to Jones.
The court heard Jones, 34, was carrying plates on a tray away from the washing up area into the cooking area when her feet went from under her. She fell heavily landing on her buttocks. Jones suffered a fracture of the sacrum (vertabrae near the pelvis) and chronic soft tissue damage.
Mollking defended the case on the basis of contributory negligence in that it alleged Jones was walking too fast when carrying the tray. However, Justice Lyons rejected the contributory negligence claim.
Justice Lyons found the arrangements in the kitchen area were likely that oil would spill on the floor and it should have been known to those running the cafe. He said that increased the risk and a practical arrangement could have been made to avoid the problem.
Justice Lyons said it followed Jones's injuries were caused by Mollking's negligence.
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