Tragic Death of Son on Working Holiday Results in Nervous Shock Claim for Parents

Work injury negligence

Our clients are the parents of a young man who came to Australia on a working holiday.  On arrival, he and his friend obtained labouring work on a building site. Having secured employment, the boys started worrying about safety on the site. Apparently there was no formal induction onto the site when they started work. They were required to work on scaffolds without any harnesses and there had been a number of “near misses” when workers on the ground had nearly been struck by debris falling from above.

On this day the boys were instructed by the boss to assist in the removal of very large fans. These were awkward and extremely heavy. A crane was in operation nearby. The boys were afraid that if it swung its load too close to where they were working, there could be an accident. A request was made to the boss to let the crane finish its job and move away so the boys could work in some degree of safety. Unfortunately the boss of the site rejected the request and told them to get on with their job. As luck would have it, whilst they were manhandling one of the fans using ropes, the crane swung a load which struck a beam. A loud bang followed and a wall nearby collapsed. Tragically one of the boys was standing next to the wall when it fell onto him. Unfortunately he did not survive.

The young man’s friend had the unenviable task of having to contact his friend’s parents overseas and tell them that their son would not be coming home. The family were devastated.  Both mum and dad suffered severe psychological injuries as a result of receiving the news of their son’s tragic death. Both parents received months of treatment with psychologists in their hometown. The parents were required to fly to Australia to take their son’s body home. Upon arrival in Australia, they met up with Simon Meigan, Partner and Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury. Simon was able to advise them of their rights, both under the workers compensation legislation here in NSW and in respect to possible negligence claims.

Sadly the family left Australia to bury their son in his hometown.  

Action was commenced by Simon for nervous shock on behalf of both parents. These claims were brought against the head contractor, not against the employer, as the NSW State Government had recently changed the law preventing families of deceased workers bringing nervous shock claims against their employer.

We are pleased to report that Simon was able to negotiate a settlement of both claims for the parents against the head contractor saving the parents the nightmare of having to relive the tragedy of their son’s death in a contested court hearing.

If you need assistance or advice in respect to the death of a loved one, particularly in a work related situation, you are welcome to contact the experts in death claims under the workers compensation legislation here at Taylor & Scott. If we act, it will be with a grant of legal assistance from WIRO meaning you don’t pay any costs in respect to the workers compensation claim. We will also carefully examine all the facts and circumstances of the claim and advise you if you have any right to sue any party for their negligence in respect to the death of your loved one. If such a claim is brought, Taylor & Scott will act for you on a no-win/no-pay basis meaning that you pay absolutely no costs to Taylor & Scott unless the case is successful.

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