Miner sues for $2m over CQ motorcycle, truck crash

A CENTRAL Queensland miner who was injured in a motorcycle crash is suing a truck driver and his insurer, the driver's employer and the company that did works on the road where the accident happened.

Lachlan King, 32, filed the $2 million lawsuit for damages to the Rockhampton Supreme Court earlier this year with court proceeding still active this month.

The court claim is based on a crash which occurred on April 12, 2016, on the Peaks Down Mine Rd, Dysart.

Mr King was employed with BHP Coal at the Goonyella Riverside mine as a high voltage electrician.

Mr King was travelling south of a T-intersection on his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he was involved in a collision with a Mack truck.

The lawsuit has been filed against the driver of the Mack truck and the driver's insurer, Suncorp Insurance.

Quarrico Products Pty Ltd is also being sued as the truck driver was employed by the company at Winchester Quarry, which is near the crash site.

The court documents state Quarrico employed the driver to haul gravel and or road base from the Winchester Quarry to various sites at the Peak Downs mine.

BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd, known as BMA, is also a defendant in the case.

BMA is being sued as it allegedly carried out works on the road and constructed the T-intersection where the crash occurred.

It is also stated Quarrico supplied the gravel to BMA for the works.

Detailing background information around the accident, the statement of claim reports Mr King had travelled the road from Moranbah to Dysart return once a week for two years prior to the crash.

It alleged "he knew the road well and had experience with the heavy machinery that was frequently on it".

Mr King claims the truck driver failed to give way, exercise due care, keep any proper lookout, see his Harley motorcycle and failed to stop.

In a defence to this, Suncorp Insurance rebutted and stated the collision was wholly caused by Mr King.

As for Quarrico, Mr King claims it failed to undertake a risk assessment of tis employees who would access the road and train them appropriately, and its employee breached negligence as part of the employment contract.

Quarrico has filed defence denying it was negligent and asserting Mr King's injuries were "wholly caused" by his own negligence.

Mr King has claimed BMA failed to construct an adequate road which would prevent accidents and it failed to maintain the road.

BMA's defence detailed Mr King's previous police charges which include a series of driving offences for speeding, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle dating from 2009 to 2015.

BMA also stated the speed at which Mr King was travelling was not known and went on to claim he failed to control his motorcycle.

Mr King claimed he had a long list of injuries as a result of the collision which included fractures to his face, eye socket, jaw, skull, wrist, shin, ankle and shoulder, displaced elbow, dislocated knee and ankle and torn knee ligaments.

It was also claimed he suffered nerve damage to the arm, shoulder tendon rupture, soft tissue injury to the spine and multiple other soft tissue injuries including lacerations and bruising.

The court documents state Mr King also sustained a traumatically acquired brain injury, which in medical terms usually results from a "violent blow or jolt to the head or body".

It was also claimed Mr King underwent multiple surgeries for treatment of the injuries and he was still in pain regularly.

Mr King allegedly cannot open his mouth to the full capacity, affecting his ability to eat and speak, and he has sharp pain up to four times a day in his mouth.

He also has reduced visual capacity, multiple scars and physical deformity in the face, along with other last effects.

As a result of the alleged injuries, it is claimed Mr King has a permanent partial disability and incapacity.

Both Quarrico and BMA have argued not all of these injuries were caused in the accident and have detailed some pre-existing conditions from before the date of the accident.

Mr King claimed he had lost earnings since the accident and for lost wages, he has claimed $353,535.06 with a further $1,386,990 for future lost wages, plus superannuation.

For pain and suffering, Mr King has claimed $158,000 and $140,000 for special damages and future surgery expenses.

Quarrico and BMA claimed these amounts were unreasonable and excessive and Quarrico has stated it "does not fairly reflect the nature of injuries sustained in the collision".

Quarrico argued in its defence Mr King was medically examined in 2019 and cleared to return as a dump truck operator in the mining industry and has been doing that work since 2020.

The court claim was filed by Taylors Solicitors Mackay.

Final offers were filed in October with further notices claiming contribution filed this month.