Published: 18 June 2019
Author: Simone Welsh

Outstanding results in personal injury cases

The Geelong region offices of Ryan Carlisle Thomas / Stringer Clark have recently achieved some significant victories for injured clients.

WorkCover ‘pain and suffering’ verdict

Our Geelong office, headed by partner Jodie Harris, recently received a jury verdict of $310,000 for the pain and suffering of an injured nurse who aggravated a pre-existing back injury.

Our client suffered injury when she was asked to reach forward awkwardly and manually roll a patient who was anaesthetised for an operation. Usually, the client told the Court, one of the surgeons performing the operation would help to roll the patient, but on the day of her injury, the client was nursing for a different surgeon who did not assist the nursing staff to move the unconscious patient. In addition, the client was wearing a lead apron to protect her from the radiation associated with the scans being done on the patient which increased the load on her back.

Of significance, in this case, was the fact that our client had previously injured her back at work some years before which required her to have an operation. Despite this, the aggravation of her pre-existing injury was serious enough in its own right to entitle our client to lodge a further WorkCover claim and meet the thresholds required for her to receive compensation.

The jury found that the employer had breached the duty of care it owed our client and also breached the hazardous manual handling provisions of the OH&S Act and Regulations. Despite the level of pre-existing damage to our client’s back, the jury had no hesitation in finding that the employer’s negligence caused pain and suffering to our client in the amount of $310,000.

Settlement for injuries suffered in a public place

In regional Victoria, our Stringer Clark office recently settled a claim made by an 87-year-old pedestrian who was knocked to the ground by clothing racks outside of a store.

Our client was walking past a clothing shop when a gust of wind pushed over an unsecured clothing rack, causing a domino-like an effect. A total of five fully laden clothing racks bowled our client to the ground, pinning her to the pavement. Our client sustained injuries to her lower back and hip.

The incident occurred on a busy sale day. Legal representatives for the clothing store said the store had checked the weather and determined not to secure the clothing racks with sandbags as the wind was not expected.

Our client is a fit and sprightly woman who was determined not to let her injuries get her down. An avid walker and gardener, she tried her best to keep up her pre-injury level of activity but found to her dismay she was no longer able to tend her garden or enjoy the daily walks she took with friends.

Legal representatives for the defendant conceded that our client had sustained a significant injury and agreed to pay her $125,000 to settle her claim before Court.

If in question about potential compensation related to an injury it is definitely worth contacting your local lawyer at RCT or Stringer Clark as the process and result can certainly assist the healing process.

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