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Melbourne woman injured after slipping on lettuce at Coles in Wyndham Vale loses appeal

Coles shopper who sued grocery store after slipping in aisles on a SLAP LEAF loses lawsuit despite having ‘whole person disorder’

  • Coles shopper who slipped on lettuce has lost her legal offer for compensation
  • Kanwaleen Bhelley claims she injured her knee and back in the fall in May 2020
  • Medical panel found she did not meet the threshold required for compensation
  • She appealed to the court, alleging that the panel had made errors of jurisdiction
  • The Supreme Court of Victoria ruled in favor of the panel and dismissed the appeal

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A Melbourne woman who claimed she injured her knee and back after slipping on a piece of lettuce on a drive to the supermarket has lost her legal claim for compensation.

Kanwaleen Bhelley, 43, claimed she had sustained a WPI of more than five percent after the ordeal at a Coles store in Wyndham Vale in May 2020.

Ms Bhelley’s medical reports supporting her claim that her disability from the fall was more than five percent were rejected by the supermarket giant, which referred the case to a medical panel that assessed her in 2021.

The panel found that Ms Bhelley suffered from age-related degenerative changes in her spine and sacroiliac joints related to the rehabilitation treatment of her right knee.

The panel found her condition to be stable and she did not meet the WPI threshold required for compensation.

Melbourne woman who slid lettuce into Coles store in Wyndham Vale had her offer for compensation rejected

Melbourne woman who slid lettuce into Coles store in Wyndham Vale had her offer for compensation rejected

Ms Bhelley has appealed the decision to the Victorian Supreme Court, alleging the panel’s errors of jurisdiction.

‘In particular, she argues that when the panel found that her injuries were not within the threshold, the panel did not apply the guidelines; misunderstood or applied the provisions of the Guides; or made a finding that was not open to it, or that was unreasonable,” court documents read.

Ms Bhelley argued that without such an error, the panel would have determined that her overall impairment rate from her spinal cord injury was 5%, which met the threshold for significant injury and in turn would entitle her to to claim compensation for non-economic damage.’

Ms Bhelley claimed her injuries from the supermarket fall in 2020 caused pain, restricted her movement and restricted her attendance at concerts and her temple.

Kanwaleen Bhelley claimed she suffered injuries to her back and right knee after slipping on a piece of lettuce near Coles (stock image)

Kanwaleen Bhelley claimed she suffered injuries to her back and right knee after slipping on a piece of lettuce near Coles (stock image)

Kanwaleen Bhelley claimed she suffered injuries to her back and right knee after slipping on a piece of lettuce near Coles (stock image)

She also claimed she could only drive for about an hour before developing lower back pain and not running for fear of causing pain to her right knee.

“She can stand for about 10 minutes before having to stretch her back,” the panel wrote in their report.

“She can walk for about 30 minutes, (but) after about 500 meters she notices mild pain in the right knee, so stops walking to sit or stand for about 10 minutes.”

“She can cross stairs with no problem, using alternating steps for both ascent and descent, with no lower back or right knee problems.”

Judge Andrea Tsalamandris acknowledged that Ms Bhelley could still have symptoms or complaints from the fall two years ago.

But she ruled that the panel had made no mistakes in their assessment and rejected Ms Bhelley’s appeal when she judgement on Friday.

“The panel was free to determine whether Ms Bhelley’s complaints and symptoms were most appropriately categorized,” Judge Tsalamandris wrote.

“I am not convinced that a jurisdictional error was made by the panel and therefore reject this application.”

A shopper has lost her legal offer for compensation from Coles (stock photo of a Coles store)

A shopper has lost her legal offer for compensation from Coles (stock photo of a Coles store)

A shopper has lost her legal offer for compensation from Coles (stock photo of a Coles store)

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