SCHOOL MUM TO SUE FOR $170,000

45-year-old files claim over lost wages, pain and suf­fer­ing

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH STE­GER Sarah.Ste­ger@news-mail.com.au

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).

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