Ski Holiday Ends Early due to fall in Kosciusko Motel Room and Plaintiff unsuccessful in legal claim

Jun 1, 2023 | Publication

The plaintiff, Ms Caruana, brought claims against the Ski Riders Hotel Motel after she sustained injuries as a result of falling on a step between the bathroom and bedroom of her motel room.

The Ski Rider Hotel Motel is located at 10 Kosciusko Road, Wilson’s Valley in New South Wales in the Snowy Mountains region.

The plaintiff was on a ski holiday with her partner and was planning to stay several nights. Ms Caruana alleged in negligence that the defendant had actual knowledge of the step and failed to warn any patron staying in the room where the accident took place.

Ms Caruana relied upon the expert liability report of Engineer, Mr Cockbain. However, this report was largely dismissed by the court, finding the recommendations in the report to be unreasonable. The defendant had not reported any similar incidents at the motel.

Judgement was found in favour of the defendant, noting that the risk of harm was obvious, and that the reasonable person would have avoided such an accident.  At 65 the Judge states:

“Taking into account the photographs of the bathroom which demonstrate a significantly raised bathroom sink which would have been within a person’s line of sight as she slid open the bathroom door, and which was a cue to the step, I am satisfied that the risk would have been clearly apparent when the door was open, and therefore obvious to a notional reasonable middle-aged woman in the position of plaintiff.”

It is worth noting that if the decision were found in favour of the plaintiff, the judge accepted a 25% reduction for contributory negligence would have been applied, and the awarded damages would have amounted to $28,858.85.

The decision of Caruana v Ski Riders Motel (Kosciuszko) Pty Ltd, trading as Ski Rider Hotel Motel  NSWDC 182, can be read in full here:

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. If you do not wish to receive newsletters from us, please let us know.

Latest Insights

How Vicissitudes Impact Future Economic Loss in Legal Cases

When it comes to calculating future economic loss in legal cases, one concept that often arises is "vicissitudes." But what exactly are vicissitudes, and how do they affect the compensation awarded to plaintiffs? In this article, we'll delve into the definition of...

Can you still make a claim?

Many claims have limitation periods. A limitation period is a set time frame within which an aggrieved person must commence proceedings in a Court. These limitation periods generally commence from the date of the injury and/or incident. Some claims however, such as...

Teacher convicted for failing to report sexual abuse of a child

Teacher, Mr Webb of Trinity College Perth, was unsuccessful in his appeal against his conviction of failing to report sexual abuse of a child in a decision delivered on 13 October 2021. In April 2017, a group of boys from the school went on a school rugby trip to...

Annual Dinner – Parramatta & District Regional Law Society

Western Sydney's legal profession gathered for the Annual Dinner of the Parramatta & District Regional Law Society at CommBank Stadium! We are particularly grateful to Dr Hugh McDermott MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General, Senior Vice...

What compensation can I get if I have been injured at work?

If you have a work-related injury or illness, you may be able to claim compensation for lost income, medical expenses, travel expenses, domestic assistance, pain and suffering and permanent impairment. All employers are required to have workers compensation insurance...

Court makes provision for son left out of father’s Will

The recent Supreme Court of New South Wales decision of Rathswohl v Court  NSWSC 356, involved 3 siblings disputing their entitlements to their late father’s estate. The defendant, Yvette, claimed she cared for her father for the last 18 months before he...

If I die without a Will what can happen?

If you die without a Will there can be many unintended consequences. Some of these consequences may be: A person who you do not intend could control your estate.  This could even be someone you do not know.  An executor is a person who controls an estate...