The Queensland Court of Appeal has held a hotel manager liable
for a needlestick injury that a guest sustained while staying in a
short-term rental apartment, reversing the original decision of no
The trial judge had not been satisfied that a more competent
cleaner or system of cleaning would have led to the discovery of
the needle (which was in the crease of a stairwell and was
dislodged by the guest when she was cleaning the apartment). He did
not consider it reasonable to expect an apartment manager or
cleaner to search and discover a concealed needle.
The Court of Appeal reversed this decision, finding that:
it is likely a cleaner using normal skill, diligence and
equipment would have detected the needle;
it was probable that the needle was obscured from the
guest's vision as a direct result of the unclean state in which
the apartment was handed over to her;
the hotel manager knew or should have known of the risk of
the build-up of 'filth' in the apartment increased the
risk that dangerous objects would not be seen until after they were
stood on or touched, which may have been with bare feet or
The hotel manager was ordered to pay compensation of
$494,759.38, plus interest.
This decision confirms the importance that rental property
owners need to place on implementing thorough systems of regular
cleaning and inspections.
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The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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