October 29, 2012

An inebriated football fan – who baulked at paying the cover charge for entry to an Underwood nightclub – has won $70,000 in damages for injuries received when struck by a maxi-cab he had attempted to stop outside the venue in December 2004.
Daniel Moore and his confreres had already been refused carriage by the cab as it departed Rogues International Nite Club, having delivered another band of merrymakers at the red carpet entrance to the disco. The cab drove off before suddenly turning around and back in the direction of his party.

Evidence was heard in the Brisbane District Court that, as it approached Moore on its return run, the cab sped up and swerved towards him, striking him to the ground so his head impacted the bitumen. In a judgment published on Friday, the court ruled that the driver, Garry Oakley, ought to have kept the “group of potential hailers under observation” and anticipated the would-be passenger’s manoeuver.

He had an adequate distance to avoid any impact but didn’t. Excluding any s 47 CLA contributory negligence because the plaintiff’s intoxication “had nothing to do with the driver’s failure to keep a proper lookout”, the court ruled the impact was nevertheless 20% attributable to Moore’s act of stepping into proximity with the taxi’s path.

Although such practice “is not uncommon for people seeking to secure the services of taxis”, deliberately placing oneself “into the path of an approaching vehicle in circumstances where his ability to properly assess that it was safe to do so was impaired by alcohol” required him also to be held partly accountable.

With very little reliable evidence of “just what his employment was for most of the time after the accident, indeed for much the time before the accident as well”, the court nevertheless deduced 25-year-old Moore had a “poor work history”.

Reflecting his “general level of inefficiency” damages were assessed at just $88,000 including $73,000 for past and future loss of earnings, to which the 20% reduction for contributory negligence was applied.

Moore v Oakley [2012] QDC 322 Brisbane McGill SC DCJ published 23/10/2012

Categories: Personal Injury , Litigation & Law Practice

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