A British woman´s claim for an accident while working in Australia has been settled for Au$12 million following court hearings in Manchester and Hobart.
In December 2011, Holly Raper (27) from Chorley in Lancashire was backpacking her way around the world, and had just started working at the King Island Dairy Farm in Tasmania, when she was involved in a serious quadbike accident while herding cattle for the first time.
Holly remained in a coma for several months after the accident and, due to the catastrophic brain injury she sustained, is now a quadriplegic – unable to communicate, move or feed herself. Holly was flown back to her family home in March 2013, where she is now cared for by her mother and two professional carers.
Despite receiving a Au$290,000 compensation settlement from the Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal, Holly´s father – Chris – made a claim for an accident while working in Australia on his daughter´s behalf against the owners of the King Island Dairy Farm – David and Jocelyn Bowden.
In the claim for an accident while working in Australia, Chris alleged that Holly had not been provided with a helmet or properly trained to herd cattle on a quadbike. It was also claimed that the quadbike had significant defects, including disconnected rear brakes, excessive steering wear, and a rear wheel had been put on backwards.
The claim was contested on the grounds that Holly had contributed to her accident and the extent of her injuries by her own lack of care. The amount of compensation being claimed on Holly´s behalf was also considered excessive by the Bowden´s insurance company and a date was scheduled for a court hearing.
However, due to the cost of flying Holly´s medical experts over from the UK, Judge Steven Estcourt flew to Manchester to hear witness testimonies before returning to Hobart for the conclusion of the case. The judge found in Holly´s favour, dismissing the allegations of contributory negligence, and awarding Holly´s family Au$12 million in settlement of the claim for an accident while working in Australia. The settlement will be put into a trust to pay for Holly´s future care.