Lawyers win $XY for a 38-year old man who lost his right leg in a bight on a boat
The plaintiff was working on a trawler off Cairns when his left leg got caught in the bight of a rope that suddenly went taught due to external forces. The force of the rope knocked the man off his feet and he was thrashed around the deck of the ship. The crew managed to find an axe and release the man’s trapped leg, but the nature of his injuries meant the limb had to be amputated later on in the hospital.
After surgery, the plaintiff had to undergo extensive physical and psychological treatment adapting to life with only one limb. He has had to relearn how to walk and to balance properly. Initially, he was only able to walk on crutches and for the rest of his life, he will be walking with the assistance of a stick or a single crutch.
The plaintiff’s sole source of income as an adult had been working offshore in the fishing industry. It is possible but highly unlikely, he will return to the sea once he is back on his foot with better mobility than he currently has. On weekends and during shore leave, the plaintiff was a highly-rated soccer coach at his local club. Although he will still be able to coach in the verbal sense, he will no longer be able to run around the field and demonstrate kicking and skill techniques to younger players.
The court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to $XY compensation for pain and suffering, lifestyle impact and severe financial hardship arising from an inability to work as a fisherman or on boats offshore. He will, in all probability, have to be retrained or study for a career change targeting work that is more office than outdoor orientated. The judge ruled that the man’s employers could have given their staff better safety-awareness training with a specific emphasis on never stepping into the bight, or coil, of a rope on deck. The company was ordered to pay $XY in compensation and to facilitate retraining to help the plaintiff transition to a shore-based job.
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