Olga Day leaving court in Brisbane in 2016 after news of the lawsuit broke.
Olga Day leaving court in Brisbane in 2016 after news of the lawsuit broke. News Corp Australia

Setback in $1.3m onion slip lawsuit

THE MOTHER who fired up a $1.3 million lawsuit after slipping on a shallot has puzzled the state's top court by apparently identifying with "chronic grumblers".

Ipswich woman Olga Day slipped and fell in a Woolworths in December 2014.

The fall happened near a demonstration table two other retail companies were operating.

Mrs Day sued all three companies - but they wanted her to have medical examinations to get evidence for the case.

At Brisbane Supreme Court last year, Justice James Douglas ordered the lawsuit be halted until Mrs Day agreed to having exams with "independent doctors".

Mrs Day appealed against that decision, and also wanted her case merged with a separate lawsuit she had against Queensland University of Technology and others for personal injury allegations.

She also argued Justice Douglas should disqualify himself from the case because of "apprehended bias".

Mrs Day pointed to a paper Justice Douglas delivered in which he made remarks about a "querulant self-represented litigant".

Justice Douglas in that paper referred to a psychiatrist who spoke of "chronic grumblers" who were "persistent, demanding, rude" and had "over-optimistic expectations for compensation".

So Mrs Day went to Queensland Court of Appeal, which delivered its judgment on Friday.

"It is not clear to me why the appellant would wish to identify herself with such litigants," appeal court President Walter Sofronoff said.

"Hers is an apparently bona fide claim for damages for personal injury caused by alleged negligence."

Justice Sofronoff said neither he nor Justice Douglas thought Mrs Day was a "querulant self-represented litigant".

Justice Sofronoff said Mrs Day's resistance to the medical examinations seemed based upon unjustified concerns the doctors would be biased too.

He said "for many decades" anybody in Queensland suing for personal injuries has needed a medical exam with doctors chosen from a panel offered by the people or company getting sued.

The appeal was dismissed and Mrs Day was ordered to pay costs of the appeal. - NewsRegional