An elderly woman is suing supermarket giant Aldi after she suffered a broken hip when she was hit by a trolley and fell to the ground in a Victorian department store during a TV shopping spree.
The 73-year-old Geelong woman, who does not want to be named, was injured during a “special purchase” sale at Corio supermarket in August last year.
In a claim statement seen by NCA NewsWire, attorneys for the injured woman said Aldi failed to control the crowd and allowed customers to use the carts in dangerous or careless ways.
Arnold Thomas and Becker Lawyers Director Jodie Harris, who is representing the injured woman, told NCA NewsWire on Monday that there were only six big-screen TVs available in the store that day.
“There was no security outside and no one looking to control entry once the gates were opened,” Harris said.
“There was a pretty high level of interest in these particular TVs.
“The doors opened and there was a bit of a rush from some people coming in, and my client was hit with a cart by another client and she fell to the ground in front of everyone else trying to get in.
“Some people just walked around it. Someone lifted a cart on top of her to continue looking for her TV and she crawled up.
“There was another customer who helped her, but there was no Aldi staff member who was providing any assistance.”
The injured female allegedly suffered from an intracapsular fracture of the neck of the left femur, ongoing trochanteric bursitis, depression, and anxiety.
Ms Harris said that Aldi had ultimately failed in its duty of care.
“If you’re going to promote something heavily, you want to draw crowds to your store to pick up those particular items, you want the level of interest to be high,” he said.
“If you’re doing that, then you have an obligation to manage the number of people, because there are only limited numbers available.
“People are itching to try and get it, emotions are running high, and people are trying to get in before everyone else, and that creates a situation where it’s predictable that someone could get injured in those circumstances.
“If that is foreseeable, then Aldi has an obligation to have a system in place to manage those crowds.”
Ms. Harris suggested that a ticketing system might have been appropriate.
“If they know they only have six, there’s a staff member and some security out front handing out six tickets, and that’s all that’s available,” he said.
“Or they’re doing something to control safe entry into the facility without there being a rush to get in and a crash situation where someone gets injured.”
Aldi has declined to comment.