Westfield and Costa brothers resolve Fountain Gate issue

27 January 2006

Countries: Australia

Westield has investigated the incident and confirmed that a misinterpretation of its policy governing use of wheelchairs led to one brother having to crawl three metres to his car while the security guard present was attending to the other brother.

The company has met with representatives of the Costa family and agreed the following:
Westfield apologises for the circumstances which led to the incident and deeply regrets the indignity suffered by the brothers.

Westfield has clarified its policy to make it clear that staff should offer every possible assistance in helping disabled customers move safely from the centre to their transport.

The Costa brothers have requested, and Westfield has agreed, to provide a significant donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Australia.All parties agreed that regardless of how the incident arose, it was regrettable and all possible steps should be taken to avoid a similar incident occurring again.
Westfield has re-issued its policy governing the use of wheelchairs and all staff have been instructed accordingly.The Costa brothers agreed the incident arose because of confusion over policy and not because of any deliberate intent on the part of Westfield staff. They also agreed as soon as the incident was brought to its attention Westfield responded quickly and professionally to resolve the issue in good faith.