Chris Ison

Man wins $96k in damages after Coffs fall

A MAN who suffered serious injuries after falling on slippery concrete in central Coffs Harbour has won almost $100,000 in damages against Coffs Harbour City Council.

At around 6.40pm on August 15, 2010, Matthew McLeod slipped while walking near 246 Harbour Dr, suffering injuries to his right arm, shoulders, neck and lower back.

The impact also aggravated a pre-existing injury to his left ankle.

After he fell, he turned on the torch on his mobile phone and observed a "greeny slime" across the footpath and a "dark greenish stain, coming up out of the concrete."

Mr McLeod then sent a message to his wife saying "limping home now, massive puddle of slimy water opposite the TAFE. Went head over heels and got banged up pretty bad".

In August 2013, Mr McLeod commenced legal proceedings against Coffs Harbour City Council on the grounds of negligence.

In Coffs Harbour District Court, Mr McLeod said he had suffered ongoing complications from his injuries which also affected his ability to work.

A resident living near the incident site told the court she had observed at least three prior similar cases of people falling, which she had reported to the council.

In October last year, the judge found the council had been "negligent in failing to take precautions against a risk of harm that was foreseeable" and ordered it pay Mr McLeod $96,439.

The council lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court of NSW on 11 grounds, including the judge's statement on the scope of its duty of care.

The appeal was knocked back last week with judges finding the council "had not demonstrated a reasonably clear case that the (District Court) judge erred in reaching his conclusion".

The Supreme Court also ordered the council to pay Mr McLeod's legal costs for the trial and subsequent appeal.


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