Slurpee slip not Castle Hill Target's fault, court finds

A WOMAN who slipped on a Slurpee outside a Castle Hill Target store has had her bid for $300,000 in damages rejected by a three-judge bench.

Trina Reid, who claimed she slipped in a yellow "slurpee", "icee" or "child's drink" outside Target in Castle Towers shopping centre, sued the retailer and the shopping centre owner for negligence in 2010.

She settled her case against the owner of Castle Towers, QIC Limited, but her case against Target Australia proceeded to a trial in the District Court in 2012.

Judge Garry Neilson found Target had not been negligent and dismissed her claim for $296,034 in damages.

Mrs Reid appealed against the decision to the NSW Court of Appeal.

Justice Julie Ward, who delivered a judgment with which her colleagues Robert Macfarlan and Arthur Emmett agreed, dismissed the appeal on Monday.

Justice Ward said the trial judge was not in error when he found the spillage "was not obvious" and that Target did not have a duty to "implement a system of constant monitoring" of the space outside its store. Target did not have a lease of the area but was allowed to use it for "casual retailing" with the permission of shopping centre management.

The accident happened on a Saturday morning in September 2008. Mrs Reid was 29 weeks' pregnant at the time but there is no indication that the accident caused injury to her unborn child.

"She walked around a corner in the common area of the shopping centre towards the entrance of the Target store, passing a Wittner shoe store on her left and a Jamaica Blue cafe on her right," Justice Ward said.

The slurpee has spilled in front of a "portable wire basket" of products set up by Target outside its store.

Justice Ward found that none of Mrs Reid's 10  grounds of appeal were established. Her Honour noted that the trial judge formed a "favourable impression" of Mrs Reid and her husband, even though the case was dismissed.

Mrs Reid was ordered to pay Target's legal costs.

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