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Coles shopper awarded 90000 after slipping on a grape


A COLES shopper who slipped on a grape and injured her back while grocery shopping has been awarded more than $90,000 in damages.

Beautician Sangeeta Guru, 40, was walking through the fruit and vegetable section of the Western Sydney supermarket when she her right foot slid forward and she lurched onto the floor, hitting her left knee on a trolley and wrenching her back.

Ms Guru then looked at the bottom of her thong and found some squashed grape, before a staff member approached and admitted she had not had time to clean up, the District Court of NSW heard.

On Wednesday, Judge Leonard Levy found that Coles was negligent and failed to prevent the fallen fruit from posing a hazard when the incident occurred at the Cambridge Gardens store on October 19, 2012, awarding the plaintiff $90,130.

Ms Guru, a mother of two who runs her own beauty salon, had experienced ongoing pain and emotional difficulties concerning her moods since the accident, Judge Levy said in his written decision. She has become an unhappy person. Her sleep is also impaired.

Physical complaints attributed to the accident included neck, back, wrist and shoulder pain and stiffness, pain, swelling and numbness in three fingers, ankle pain with associated occasional swelling and a burning sensation, and constant pain in her right knee.

I find the plaintiff to be impaired in her ability to participate in her pre-injury leisure pursuits, which included gymnasium exercise, hiking, kayaking, swimming, bushwalking, archery and dancing.

Her ability to carry out housework has also been impaired. She uses painkilling medication to cope with her difficulties.

Coles unsuccessfully argued contributory negligence on Ms Gurus part, saying she should have been looking where she was walking.

But Judge Levy said it was reasonable for shoppers to expect supermarket operators to provide a safe environment in which to browse for groceries, and to rely on staff to inspect and clean the floor.

The plaintiff was looking around her for items to purchase. Her surroundings were a supermarket where goods were attractively displayed to induce customers to select particular items for purchase, he wrote.

Whilst it is arguable that a reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff would have kept a proper lookout and cast an eye over the floor area where she was intending to walk, that consideration must be tempered by allowing scope for momentary inattention whilst looking at the goods on display.

The court also rejected Coles argument that Ms Guru had not been to see a specialist for treatment because she was no longer in pain, accepting her evidence that she was on a waiting list to see an orthopedic surgeon, being unable to afford the $395 private consultation fee.

Ms Gurus victory may be bittersweet, though, with the possibility of a hefty legal bill looming after Judge Levy flagged the possibility that a costs order might be varied to account for the fact that she has not succeeded to the extent claimed on many of the items for assessment of damages.

She had originally claimed more than $1 million in damages for economic loss and out-of-pocket expenses, but was found not to be entitled to damages for past economic loss or loss of superannuation.

Her original claim for $20,285 for out-of-pocket expenses was revised down drastically due to a lack of documentary evidence, with the court awarding just $1350.45 for this category of damages.

Property developer salim mehajers hints at new career on mediterranean trip




FROM announcing he is leaving Australia, to hinting at a new career or even his warm welcome to Lebanon — Salim Mehajer loves a cryptic Instagram post.

And in his latest one, the former deputy mayor of Auburn has hinted at a career change when he returns to Australia.

In one image, posted to Instagram from the Law School of Athens, Mr Mehajer dons the traditional powdered wig of the judiciary declaring, in his ever enigmatic way, I think I will take on the challenge.

But rival lawyers shouldnt fret just yet, the flamboyant and controversial former deputy mayor has some way to go yet if he really does want to be admitted to the bar.

Certainly he has experience in the dock. Just weeks ago, Mr Mehajer lost his bid to overturn an apprehended violence order against him, with the judge slamming him for trying to make out he was a mild-mannered choirboy.

Judge Paul Conlon said it was clear he had threatened personal trainer Bruce Herat outside a Sydney gym. The judge also admonished Mr Mehajer for texting in court as he read out the judgment.

But the one time councillor for Auburn, in Sydneys west, has become known as non-stick Salim because, more often than not, he comes away from court smiling.

Away from the courtroom, Mr Mehajer loves to keep his followers on Instagram guessing.

In September, Mr Mehajer said he was leaving Australia some speculated for good.

Under a picture of a boat sitting in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the words, Goodbye Australia superimposed across the sky, Mr Mehajer told his nearly 300,000 followers of his intentions to depart.

Will be taking off to pursue my dream challenges, he wrote. Ill be back.

The mysterious post made no further revelations as to his plans, and was later removed, but his Instagram posts show him in the midst of a tour around the Mediterranean including Lebanon and Greece.

Earlier, on his arrival in Greece, Mr Mehajer humbly snapped a picture at the airport, looking tired, surrounded by his luggage. His Louis Vuitton luggage.

Over the past week, Mr Mehajer has also posted images from Lebanon, where his parents hail from.

Its appears to have received a rapturous welcome with one photo showing a banner draped from a Beirut apartment with a picture of the mogul, the Australian flag and the greeting Welcome to Lebanon. Who put the banner up is not detailed by Mr Mehajer.

Mr Mehajer also hasnt revealed to news.com.au what his travel plans are but he was snapped outside an architectural firms offices in the Lebanese capital. Perhaps an expansion of his business from western Sydney to the eastern Mediterranean could be on the cards?

He has close links to Lebanon. His father Mohamad emigrated to Australia from Lebanon in the 1980s with wife Amal, the couple settling in Sydney.

In July, it was alleged in The Australian newspaper that Mr Mehajer and his father had transferred $20 million from Australia to the country.

While Mr Mehajer has been gallivanting around the Med, his estranged wife Aysha Learmonth has been far closer to home posting pictures from the Illawarra region of NSW, close to her familys house in Wollongong.

In a post to her Instagram account this week, Ms Learmonth who stopped using the Mehajer surname several months ago was seen at the Ravensthorpe historic manor house in Albion Park.

Taking a twirl beneath the propertys rotunda, she looked like her marriage blues were very much behind her.