A dump truck operator who was injured when, whilst operating a dump truck he was jolted when a large rock was dumped into the rear of his truck, has successfully sued his employer, with the Supreme Court of Queensland finding negligence and awarding $719,698.15 in damages.
Mr Oskar Krobath was employed by Thiess Pty Ltd as a coal mine operator. On 1 November 2011, whilst working as an operator driving a rear dump truck at the Burton Mine, Mr Krobath in his rear dump truck collected a load of 191 tonnes of material. The excavator operator swung the digger boom and bucket loaded with approximately 75 tonnes of rock and material and dropped the load from a height into the back of Mr Krobath’s truck prior to placing fines in the back of the truck. The load contained one particularly large rock; Mr Krobath immediately braced for the jolt that the load would (and did) cause, but notwithstanding the bracing he was tossed about.
Mr Krobath sustained injury to his back, ultimately resulting in three lumbar discectomies.
Mr Krobath commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland against Thiess, in negligence and claimed damages. Thiess disputed both liability and quantum. It argued that there was no documented evidence of the incident, and disputed the facts as relied upon by Mr Krobath.
His Honour Crowe J accepted Mr Krobath’s evidence as to how the incident occurred, and found that Mr Krobath proved that Thiess was in breach of its duty of care to him. 
Further, Mr Krobath was found to be a credible witness. Crowe J categorised the injury as an Item 90, serious thoracic or lumbar spine injury, and assessed damages in the total sum of $719,698.15, including $44,880.00 for general damages: Krobath v Thiess Pty Ltd  QSC 309.
For more information on the above contact Joe Bonura on (02) 4626 5077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared in the CCH Australian Tort, Personal Injury, Health and Medical Law Tracker and is reproduced in full with permission from CCH, a division of Wolters Kluwer Australia: www.wolterskluwer.cch.com.au
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