The use of an allegedly damaged excavator has led to an employer being sued for more than $800,000.
The use of an allegedly damaged excavator has led to an employer being sued for more than $800,000.

Worker sues for $800k after incident with excavator

THE use of an allegedly damaged excavator has led to an employer being sued for more than $800,000.

Bundaberg's Peter Arron Westcott, now 49, was employed as a machine operator at a sand mine on Palm Beach Rd, Coonarr.

Around 8.15am on December 7, 2017, Mr Westcott was operating a Yanmar 3T mini excavator and when he went to exit the vehicle, the cabin door would not fully open, according to a claim lodged in the Rockhampton Supreme Court.

Mr Westcott claims he was forced to exit the cabin in a restricted space and he could not precisely identify the placement of his feet.

As Mr Westcott stepped on a track to descend the excavator, his right foot twisted on the track causing his right knee to twist.

Mr Westcott claims immediate pain was felt in his right knee.

In his claim Mr Westcott alleged that prior to this, the excavator was involved in a collision, causing the main frame of the excavator to bend, meaning the door was difficult to open and did not open to its full extent.

On the day Mr Westcott was required to use the vehicle, he claims it had not been fixed.

It is claimed the incident caused Mr Westcott personal injuries including soft tissue injury to his thigh, medial meniscal tear and neuropathic pain to his right knee.

It is also claimed as a consequence of the incident, Mr Wescott was diagnosed with Gardner-Diamond Syndrome, a rare condition with episodes of unexplained and painful bruising, as a consequence of the incident.

A court claim was filed to the Rockhampton Supreme Court on June 17 by Morton and Morton Solicitors, Maryborough, on behalf of Mr Westcott against Sunstate Sands Services Pty Ltd.

Sunstate Sands intends to defend the claim. Both parties have made offers to settle the case.

The claim is for $831, 557.79 for damages for personal injuries, loss of damages, negligence, interest and costs.

Mr Westcott claims Sunstate Sands did not take reasonable care for Mr Wescott's safety, warn him of possible injury, provide him with suitable and maintained plant and equipment, ensure the excavator was fit for use and repair the damage to the excavator.

Mr Westcott claims he has endured and will continue to endure pain, suffering a loss of amenities of life and his enjoyment of life has been diminished.

He has required medical treatment and continues to attend a pain management clinic, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychologist.

Mr Westcott also receives nerve pain and complex regional pain syndrome infusion and the cost of a spinal cord stimulation is noted for $50,500.

He says he is no longer suited to work with uneven terrain, exposure to vibratory jolting forces or stairs and has ceased work as a machine operator.

It is reported he was earning $1100 per week as an operator. For past loss, it is claimed he has lost $80,000 and will lose $584, 375 in the future.

An offer to settle was lodged on behalf of Mr Wescott on June 17 to which Sunstate Sands have lodged an notice of intention to defend and offer to settle on July 1.



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