Sued for $1m and still invited for dinner

by 04 Nov 2011

A Victorian man has been awarded $844,000 in workers’ compensation after successfully suing his parents over an injury which occurred on the family’s Myrtleford tobacco farm.

However, despite the payout, Adam Pasqualotto told the Herald Sun that there were no hard feelings between the family, and they “still have lunch or dinner almost every day”.

The Supreme Court announced its findings last week, after hearing how Pasqualotto suffered a debilitating back injury while operating a harvesting machine in 2005.

In court documents, Pasqualotto accused his parents of being negligent and breaching their duty of care to him by failing to provide a safe workplace. He claimed he asked his father to relieve him but was told to work on.

Pasqualotto originally sued for $1m, but was awarded less because he had been advised by doctors to quit working on the farm after a car accident eight years before, and had undergone spinal surgery.

After a 12-day trial, a jury found that Pasqualotto’s parents had not been negligent because the injury occurred in part as a result of a pre-existing condition, but had breached occupational health and safety regulations relating to the ‘elimination’, or ‘reduction as far as practicable’ of the risk of injury.

Pasqualotto said he intends to appeal the jury's decision to reduce the payout, but added that he still had a good relationship with his parents.

 

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