In Bridge v Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (No 3)  NSWSC 1800 Coles was the lessee of a car park. Mr Bridge commenced proceedings against Coles after he slipped and suffered personal injury in the car park. At the time, the car park was wet and the surface where Mr Bridge slipped had a polished finish. Under the lease Coles was required to keep the car park in good repair. The landlord was required to undertake “structural repairs”. Coles argued that they could not apply a non-slip coating to the surface because it was structural repair.
The Court held that Coles had a duty of care to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risk of injury to lawful entrants. Under the lease Coles had the power to repair the floor with a non-slip coating which was not structural repair. Even if this conclusion was wrong, a reasonable person in the position of Coles would have sought permission to undertake repairs since Coles had previously identified the polished surface as a safety hazard.