The following case study is for a cleaning company. Through expert negotiation, Risksmart reduced a $22,000 claim to a $1,750 settlement, even securing contribution from other non liable parties.
The Facts:
  • Risksmart acted as claims managers for a national cleaning contractor (‘our client’).
  • A retired claimant brought a claim against our client after she allegedly slipped and fell on a puddle of water in the common mall area in a shopping centre in Western Sydney (‘the incident’). The claimant was self represented, however threatened to seek legal representation.
  • The owner of the shopping centre wholly denied liability for the incident and sought indemnity from our client.
  • Risksmart contacted the claimant directly to seek a copy of their medical substantiation and also investigated our client’s defense prospects before their substantiation was submitted.
The Problem:
  • Upon review of our client’s Service Agreement with the shopping centre , Risksmart determined that our client was required to perform cleaning inspections on the date of the incident on at least a 20 minute basis.
  • Risksmart evaluated the CCTV footage of the incident and found that our client did not perform a cleaning inspection for at least 30 minutes before the incident. Following the incident, a cleaner could also be seen to wipe the floor where the claimant slipped, which supported the claimant’s allegation that there was water present on the floor.
  • Our client was therefore ‘outside’ of rotation, in breach of the Service Agreement and faced potentially 100% liability exposure.
The Cost:

• The claimant suffered a fracture to her left wrist and allegedly relied heavily on her husband to perform basic domestic activities, such as showering, cooking and driving. The claimant’s injury to her left wrist was confirmed in an x-ray report
• Risksmart assessed damages as follows:

The Successful Outcome:

• Given their liability exposure, Risksmart recommended that our client attempt commercial resolution with the claimant directly to ensure that she did not seek legal representation, who would ultimately inflate her
damages to include a claim for future treatment and domestic assistance.
• Risksmart recommended that our client place an opening offer of $2,000 and, failing which, attempt settlement on best terms up to $10,000.
• Risksmart negotiated with the claimant directly and an offer of $2,500 was ultimately accepted by the claimant. Risksmart also negotiated with the claim managers for the shopping centre to contribute 30% of this settlement (despite the occupier facing no liability exposure as they had diligently delegated the responsibility of cleaning to our client). Therefore, our client was only required to compensate the claimant $1,750
• The claim resolved within 4 months of our appointment.

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