A husband-and-wife team had operated a highly successful country motel for seven years. They unexpectedly received a claim from a local resident who’d allegedly injured himself tripping over a tree branch on their property while walking home from the pub.
The owners were adamant that the claim was fictitious; however, the plaintiff pursued the matter with gusto. He was claiming $125,000 in damages over five years after the alleged event!
Unfortunately, a minor administrative error meant the motel’s public liability insurance had lapsed for the three days surrounding the alleged incident.
While the couple understood the importance of having adequate public liability insurance, missing their policy renewal date meant the insurance company could decline to accept liability for the claim.
We immediately engaged a litigation specialist, helping him build a defence and negotiate settlement terms.
To support our understandably distressed clients, we provided significant commercial advice to address the claim and implement a new data automation process to avoid future administrative errors.
Engaging the right lawyer and getting much-needed advice and support meant our clients could navigate the plaintiff’s aggressive behaviour, gain greater peace of mind despite being under duress and:
- Build a robust defence and keep the matter out of court.
- Reach a more acceptable settlement and better manage the legal negotiation process.
- Minimise legal costs by reducing the lawyer’s workload.
It was a hard way to learn from a simple mistake. Having the right team who can step in and help in tough times is priceless – especially if you’re unaccustomed to commercial disputes, legal action, or high-stakes negotiations.