Café Pippa is located in the town centre of Echuca and business is very busy during lunchtime. Bella, an accountant who works in town, generally has her lunch at Café Pippa. One day, Bella, who at the time was using crutches after an injury from playing hockey, entered Café Pippa from the front door. Bella was in a desperate rush, as she was late to meet an important client. As she came through the door, the foot of her crutch landed on a hot chip (which she didn’t see because she was rushing), and slipped. She fell to the ground and suffered a lower back injury from the fall, including two dislocated discs. Later it was found that Café Pippa had reduced regular cleaning to two times a day from six times and had cut half of their cleaning staff due to budget concerns caused by the frequent lockdowns by the Victorian government. There had been three incidents in the last two months where customers had slipped, although none had resulted in serious injury.

Discuss whether Café Pippa breached its duty of care; caused Bella’s injury, and if it has any defences. (DO NOT discuss duty of care or other elements of negligence). Please use relevant cases and legislation to support your answer.

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