Nkamba v Queensland Childcare Services Pty Ltd  QDC 292 – Horneman-Wren SC, DCJ
16 December 2022
The plaintiff suffered an injury to her right ankle and a psychological injury when she stepped on a Lego block and rolled her ankle whilst removing an A-Frame obstacle course from a storage shed on 29 August 2017.
The employer was found liable in the matter.
It was determined that Ms Nkamba had told her employer about that there was defective lighting in the storage shed, but the employer had not actioned any repairs.
There was a factual dispute as to how the block came to be on the floor of the shed, having regard to the contemporaneous reports Ms Nkamba made immediately after the incident, in that she knocked the block and it fell on the floor. The Court held the employer breached its duty due to the factual finding that the block was already on the floor of the shed from the night before due to the employee staffs’ failure to properly pack the shed in accordance with its policy or system in place to do so. The Court considered the lighting issues were irrelevant because the foreseeable risk was the untidy shed and that the lighting was an alternative or additional source of risk.
Damages were assessed at $197,013.98 (inclusive of the WorkCover’s statutory refund of $30,272.84).
A copy of the judgement can be found here.