SCHOOL MUM TO SUE FOR $170,000
45-year-old files claim over lost wages, pain and suffering
A MOTHER is suing the State Government for more than $170,000 after she fell and broke her wrist on a sloping pathway while dropping her children off at school.
Sally Margaret Bellis’s lawsuit, filed on October 31, focusses on her claim the Department of Education breached its duty of care to the 45-year-old by failing to take a number of measures to protect her from the slanting path.
The mum was dropping her children off at Maroondan State School when she fell.
According to the Statement of Claim, about 7am on May 12, 2017,
SALLY HAS ONGOING PAIN AND RESTRICTIONS AND HER FUTURE WORK CAPACITY HAS BEEN IMPACTED. REBECCA BALLANTYNE
Ms Bellis turned to say goodbye to her son on her way back to the school carpark when she lost her balance on the edge of the sloping path.
“(She) was unable to recover her balance as the pathway ... where she fell had a ground surface lower than the pathway by approximately 8cm ... and fell sideways onto her right arm and the side of her right wrist,” the statement alleges.
Among Ms Bellis’s claims the State Government was negligent are allegations the department “failed to barricade the sloped surface or provide a handrail to assist pedestrians ... failed to warn the plaintiff of the risk posed by the lower sloped surface ... failed to take reasonable steps for the safety of the plaintiff ... and failed to construct or arrange to be constructed a pathway that was level and was surrounded by level ground meeting the top of the pathway”.
“The defendant (State of Queensland), through the department, owed a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of entrants to the school,” the document states.
As a result, Ms Bellis is suing for $170,101.47 in damages for a broken wrist and the financial consequences of the injury.
The document states follow- ing the mum’s fall, a teacher – Robert Graham Lawton – took pictures of the sloped path and recommended the State Government level the grassed area with the path where the fall occurred.
The work was completed six days after Ms Bellis’s fall.
It is alleged Ms Bellis lost her job on account of her broken wrist and the resulting stiffness and weakness in her arm.
The Statement of Claim also argues the injury reduced the mum’s future employability and has required medical treatment in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Shine Lawyers solicitor Rebecca Ballantyne said: “Sally has ongoing pain and restrictions and her future work capacity has been impacted”.
“The damages sought take into account her loss of earnings and all the medical care she requires,” she said.
Once the claim is received, the department has 28 days to file a Notice of Intention to Defend (a counterclaim).