Gardener suing state after injury

A MAN who allegedly suffered a serious spinal injury after a wheel fell off the ride-on lawnmower he was operating at Rockhampton Hospital is suing the state for about $300,000.

Kelvin Robert Daley, 47, works as a gardener at Rockhampton Hospital and had complained on numerous occasions about deficiencies in the maintenance of the ride-on mowers used at the hospital.

In November 2008 a front wheel fell of a mower he was operating in the top car park area causing Mr Daley to suffer a whiplash injury to his cervical spine.

In a claim for personal injuries lodged with the Rockhampton District Court Mr Daley said he was then instructed by a hospital employee to lift the mower and re-attach the wheel, which further aggravated his injury.

The claim says the incident happened because the defendant failed to provide a safe place of work and ignored prior complaints about the potential problem.

Mr Daley went for an MRI scan which showed he had a disc bulging.

He further aggravated the injury when pushing a mower in October 2009 and later underwent a procedure involving 25 gauge spinal needles into the affected area.

He suffers ongoing neck pain.

While he may be able to continue to work as a gardener, it is likely he will require time off or be unable to continue in such employment for a long time.

If he loses his job there is a substantial risk of him being unemployed or not finding steady work until his nominal retirement age. A spokesperson for the Queensland Government declined to comment.



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