Former athlete Emily Bodsworth has launched a $1.3 million claim.
Former athlete Emily Bodsworth has launched a $1.3 million claim.

Athlete sues for $1.3m over food court slip

A WOMAN who slipped on a berry at a Gold Coast shopping centre food court has launched a Supreme Court damages claim for over $1 million after suffering injuries as severe as a car crash.

Emily Bodsworth is suing Australia Fair Shopping Centre and the venue's cleaning contractors over the 2016 Gold Coast mishap which left her with severe back, knee and psychological trauma.

Her lawyers claim the shopping centre's own logs show the food court had not been cleaned for almost an hour, when protocol dictates cleaning should be carried out every 15 minutes.

Ms Bodsworth, now aged 38, was an elite athlete gearing up for the World Masters Games when she visited Australia Fair for a quick lunch break in March 2016, only to slip on a loose berry, causing injuries that now have her seeking a $1.3 million damages claim which has just been filed with the Supreme Court.

In 2012, a similar case in NSW saw a woman awarded almost $600,000 after she slipped on a chip at a Woolworths supermarket.


Former athlete Emily Bodsworth has launched a $1.3 million claim.
Former athlete Emily Bodsworth has launched a $1.3 million claim.


Solicitor Amanda Gilmour from Shine Lawyers is representing Ms Bodsworth and said the accident had taken a 'catastrophic' toll on the talented athlete who now lives in constant pain.

"The fall that Emily took, through no fault of her own, has had a catastrophic impact on her life," she said.

"Once a determined athlete, Emily is now forced to deal with chronic pain on a daily basis that has caused her shocking psychological injuries.

"Evidence shows that the eating area where Emily slipped had not been cleaned for at least 50 minutes when protocol says it must be done every 15 minutes.

"This is unacceptable during what was a busy lunch period and Emily has paid the ultimate price.


Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport
Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport


"She is a shadow of her former self, hardly leaving the house."

Ms Bodsworth's lawyers allege she slipped on the berry and her left leg fell out from underneath her.

Her right knee then hit the ground and took the full impact of the fall.

The claim says the damage to her back and knee was 'significant and has detrimentally affected Emily's mental health'.

Ms Gilmour said the claim was a timely reminder to shopping centres and cleaning companies to maintain standards during the busy Christmas period.

"Cleaning protocols are in place for a reason and injuries sustained from falls, involving food, can be just as damaging to a person's life as a car accident," she said.