Injured at a shopping centre

October 30th, 2015

In September 2014, the WA Court Of Appeal in the matter of Doyle (WA) Pty Ltd v Ing Real Estate Joondalup considered a claim against a shopping centre involving a person who tripped and fell whilst walking across a service yard. The person tripped on a metal bracket set in concrete and used to secure large metal gates which closed to keep the shopping centre closed after business hours.

The case was about whether the shopping centre should have painted the metal bracket so as to make it more visible or warned the person by painting the area around the alleged hazard. The bracket, measuring some 25cm square, had a yellow painted border of approximately 6 cms in width on all sides and the bracket itself was also painted in an area measuring some 37 cms square. The paint was chipped and old but the yellow paint contrasted with the grey concrete.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial Judge that the shopping centre was not negligent by failing to repaint the metal bracket or the surrounding area. They agreed that the bracket was an obvious hazard to any reasonable person in the position of the injured person and said that by stating that the hazard was obvious was simply a restatement of the earlier finding that the bracket was or should have been clear to any pedestrian accessing the service yard in daylight hours.