- Date: January 2009
- Victim’s Age: N/A
- Victim’s Sex: Male
- Occupation: Detective
- Place: Saint Lucia
- Circumstances: slipped on the stairs
- Injuries sustained: left quadriceps rupture
- Compensation: $789,619
Slip and fall incident
In January of 2009, a Canadian man travelled to a resort in Saint Lucia for vacation. He was descending the stairs to the plunge pool at the resort when he slipped on the stairs and suffered a serious injury to his left leg. The incident took place in the evening and the lights on the stairs were not working.
The victim injuries
He was brought to the hospital and the x-rays taken showed no broken bones. Upon his return to Canada, he went and saw a doctor and he was diagnosed with a left quadriceps rupture. The rupture required surgery to fix the damage. The surgery went well and he was able to resume some work duties. The month following the surgery he reinjured his leg after being picked up and put down when greeting a friend. He had to undergo a second surgery to fix the tendon. The surgery went well. However, he continues to experience weakness in his left knee and limitation in his daily activities.
He used to be very active he worked as a detective, played soccer, and worked out often. Following his injury, he lives a much more sedentary lifestyle and no longer plays soccer, and finds it very difficult to work out. He lost a lot of muscle and gained weight.
Since the accident took place at a resort in Saint Lucia the laws of St Lucia were used to determine if the resort was liable for his injuries. Under St. Lucian law the occupier’s liability act holds property owners responsible for the maintenance of their premises. They must ensure their premises are safe for anyone on it. During the trial, it was discovered that the steps were slippery, lacked handrails, and had poor lighting. The resort had failed to maintain its premises and had created a foreseeable safety hazard. The judge found the resort negligent and therefore liable for the man’s injuries. However, the judge found the man 25% contributorily negligent since he had a heightened responsibility to carefully navigate the stairs as he was aware there was poor lighting and no handrail.
Compensation for the victim
The judge determined that he deserved compensation in the amount of $90,000 in general damages, $927,825 for the cost of future care, and $35,000 for special damages. Since he was found 25% contributorily negligent, he only received $67,500 in general damages, $695,869 for the cost of future care, and, $26,250 in special damages.