News

'Sampling' often leads to accidents

SHOPPERS shoplifting grapes and dropping milk bottles often cause the supermarket slips resulting in injury payouts totalling $100 million a year.

A Brisbane-based personal injury lawyer also said not every fall equated to a payout and media reports about the number of injury compensation payouts after slipping on shop floors did not mean there was a blowout in the number of claims.

Lawyer Mark O'Connor said suggestions grapes could be banned from supermarkets or sold in sealed bags to prevent accidents would not be a one-step fix for all supermarket slip and fall claims.

The Bennett and Philp Lawyers director said the cause of a fall was often not due to staff actions but customers "sampling" merchandise such as grapes.

"People help themselves to grapes and if one falls on the floor and is not immediately reported to the supermarket staff, then it becomes a safety risk," he said.

"In general, supermarkets have very good systems for cleaning up spills and leaks, but you can't expect the cleaners to be everywhere at the same time.

"If someone slips on a grape it doesn't automatically mean the store is liable. You have to show there was a failure of the store's cleaning systems or staff."

Mr O'Connor said the big supermarket chains had efficient cleaning systems in place, but every hazard came down to whether someone reported it and the cleaning staff removed it as soon as possible.

"Quite often the hazard is caused by shoppers who in effect are shoplifting by sampling items and causing spills, or dropping a container of liquid which spills on the floor," he said.

"Loose grapes on a shiny floor can cause surprisingly harsh injuries - leg, hip and lower back injuries are common. Spilt milk is another culprit."

Mr O'Connor said supermarkets increasingly now had warning signs and anti-slip mats around fruit and liquid displays.

He said leaking refrigerators or leaks from plant displays were also risk generators.

Mr O'Connor said supermarkets could not always foresee customers would steal food items and injury claimants would have to prove the shop knew of a slip hazard and ignored it.

"There is an onus on stores to maintain a safe shopping environment and where a store is aware of a hazard and ignores it then a claimant could have a case, but despite what some might think, a single grape on the floor is not an easy case to run," he said.

"The claimant has to prove the shop knew of the hazard and ignored the problem." 

Topics:  grapes, shoplifting, supermarkets



BREAKING: Motorcycle crash at Eight Mile

Delays are expected in the area.

You'll find them at the Warwick RSL Club

POOL SHARKS: Jack Cavanagh, John Fogarty and Daneeka Attard brush up on the pool skills.

Take five with some of the team from the Warwick Memorial RSL Club.

Exciting new era for news in Warwick

THE Warwick Daily News is about to make a big change.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual