A woman injured while shopping for strawberries in an Aldi supermarket has had her judgment in the District Court upheld on appeal in the New South Wales Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal held that Aldi was negligent in placing a pallet jack across an aisle creating a foreseeable risk of injury,
Susan Young was shopping in an Aldi supermarket. Upon entering the supermarket she proceeded to the fruit and vegetable section.
At the same time, an employee of Aldi was unpacking strawberries from boxes on a pallet jack. The employee was standing in the aisle in front of the display and near Ms Young. Ms Young indicated to the employee that she was after strawberries. The employee suggested that Ms Young go around the back of him to get to the strawberries. As Ms Young did so, she stumbled and fell over the tines of a pallet jack which were protruding from under the boxes sitting on the pallet jack.
Ms Young suffered an aggravation to her pre-existing knee and back problems together with pain in her right shoulder, wrist and hand.
The District Court judge awarded Ms Young compensation of $135,000.
Aldi argued that its employee made Ms Young aware of the pallet jack and therefore the pallet jack was an obvious risk.
The Court of Appeal found that although the employee made Ms Young aware of the presence of the pallet jack, the employee did not warn Ms Young about the pallet jack’s protruding tines which were obscured from Ms Young’s view by the boxes sitting on the pallet jack.
The Court of Appeal found that the protruding tines were not an obvious risk in the circumstances and it was negligent to not have warned her of the presence of same.