A CQ miner has filed a lawsuit for $750,000, claiming a back injury on the job has left him with a permanent disability.
A CQ miner has filed a lawsuit for $750,000, claiming a back injury on the job has left him with a permanent disability.

Miner sues for $750k for injury from lifting heavy buckets

A CQ miner has filed a lawsuit for $750,000, claiming a back injury on the job has left him with a permanent disability.

Shawn Higginbotham, 39, was employed by labour hire company, SRSW Pty Ltd, as a storeman at Lake Vermont mine, Dysart.

The lawsuit is filed against SRSW, and also Thiess Mining Services, operators of the mine.

Mr Higginbotham claims he was exposed to risk of injury and is suing for personal injury and negligence.

At the time of the injury, Mr Higginbotham was setting up a warehouse and was directed to move stock in shipping containers from an old warehouse, catalogue it, and store it in a new warehouse location.

Mr Higginbotham stated he was moving 15 to 20 buckets, which were filled with galvanised bolts and weighed between 40kg to 70kg.

According to court documents, Mr Higginbotham asked Thiess for additional labourers for assistance.

Mr Higginbotham claimed "the work involved repetitive lifting, bending and twisting for the purpose of moving the buckets across the floor without assistance."

It is further claimed, as a result of the work, Mr Higginbotham sustained a musculoskeletal injury to his lumbar spine and a psychological injury.

According to court documents, Mr Higginbotham required hospital and medical treatment, physiotherapy, allied health services, counselling and he suffered much pain, discomfort and inconvenience.

Mr Higginbotham claimed he had been left with permanent partial impairment of his bodily function and he may require more treatment in the future.

It is also claimed he has been restricted in his ability to undertake pre-accident sport and recreational activities.

Mr Higginbotham also claimed due to the injury he had been restricted in ability to undertake work to his full potential in providing in labour and skill in accordance with his qualification, training, experience and ability.

This had meant he had lost income he would have otherwise earned and would continue to do so in the future, he claimed.

Mr Higginbotham is suing for $750,000, including claims of $80,000 for past economic loss and $400,000 for future loss.

Mr Higginbotham has accused both companies of failure to provide adequate plant or equipment for the task and failure to ensure there was appropriate job rotation.

It is claimed the personal injuries were caused by negligence of Thiess and the personal injuries and consequential loss and damage were caused by SRSW's breach of contract of employment.

The lawsuit was filed on October 6 by Smiths Lawyers, Southport, to the Rockhampton District Court.

No defence has yet been filed.


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