July 20, 2016
A British woman has been awarded Au$12 million compensation for quadbike injuries she sustained while herding cattle on a dairy farm in Tasmania.
Holly Raper from Chorley in Lancashire was on a backpacking holiday in Australia in December 2011, when she took a job at the King Island Dairy Farm in Tasmania. Shortly after she started working at the farm, Holly – who was twenty-one years of age at the time – was asked to round up cattle using a quadbike.
Tragically, while herding the cattle, Holly had an accident and fell from the vehicle. She suffered a catastrophic brain injury that left her in a coma for several months. Due to the severity of the injury, Holly is now quadriplegic and requires around-the-clock care due to not be able to communicate or feed herself.
After being flown home in Chorley in March 2013, Holly´s parents claimed compensation for quadbike injuries from the owners of the King Island Dairy Farm – David and Jocelyn Bowden. The Bowden´s denied responsibility for Holly´s injuries and contested the claim for compensation for quadbike injuries on the grounds that Holly´s accident had been caused by her own lack of care.
However, solicitors investigating the accident found that the quadbike had several defects including faulty brakes, a worn steering mechanism and a rear wheel fitted back to front. It was also discovered that Holly had not been given a helmet to wear or instructed on how to ride the quadbike over the terrain.
A hearing to resolve the claim for compensation for quadbike injuries was scheduled for April; and, as Holly´s medical experts were located in the UK, Judge Steven Estcourt flew to Manchester to hear three weeks of testimony. When the hearing concluded in Hobart, Judge Estcourt found in Holly´s favour – finding the Bowden´s negligent and liable for her injuries.
After dismissing the claims of contributory negligence, the judge awarded Holly Au$12 million compensation for quadbike injuries. After deductions for legal costs and the support she has already received from the Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal, the balance will be put into a UK trust to pay for Holly´s future care.