ASHCROFTS Supa IGA has been found liable for more than half a million dollars in damages after an apprentice butcher slipped on sausage meat.
According to the judgment handed down in the NSW District Court on Friday, Mathew Philip Paul started work at the Peisley Street supermarket on October 10, 2012, and noticed sausage mince on the meat room floor.
He spent the first few hours cutting lamb in a different area and when he returned to the meat room to link sausages, the mess appeared to be cleaned up.
But when the mobile table moved and the sausages began to slide off, Mr Paul tried to catch them and slipped on mince left underneath, injuring his back.
Counsel for IGA argued there had also been negligence on the part of Mr Paul, for failing to check under the table, and Skillset, Mr Paul's direct employer.
Skillset paid Mr Paul, then in his early 20s, for his apprenticeship, while the IGA provided supervised work.
The floor underneath the trolley should have been checked by whoever it was who did the cleaning.Judge David Russell
Judge David Russell deducted 20 per cent from Mr Paul's $714,000 damages claim taking into account Skillset and Mr Paul's involvement, reducing the amount to $578,689. He still found the primary responsibility lay with the IGA.
"A qualified butcher had cleaned up the meat room ... and had not done a thorough job by checking under the trolley and cleaning up anything under the trolley," he said.
"Since the trolley was moveable, the floor underneath the trolley should have been checked by whoever it was who did the cleaning.
"Anyone working in the meat room might have needed that trolley to be moved, and once it was moved that person was going to be exposed to the risk of the sausage mince on the floor."
IGA was also ordered to pay Mr Paul's costs, however Judge Russell found IGA's insurer was liable for the bills.
IGA owner Ian Ashcroft could not be reached for comment.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...