Asia / Oceania
Brain-damaged crash victim suing
Jul, 10 2012
(Australia) -- A SYDNEY court is expected to hear allegations that poor road repairs and guttering were to blame for a horror motorcycle crash that left a North Coast man with brain damage.
Six years after he almost lost his life on the Nimbin Rd, 56-year-old David Pillinger is suing Boral and the Lismore City Council for negligence.
On January 22, 2006, Mr Pillinger was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after losing control of his bike near the northern entrance to Nimbin.
Mr Pillinger's legal team will allege that Boral failed to clear loose gravel from the Nimbin work site a month before the accident happened.
Heavy rain had washed the gravel across the road which, they allege, was a result of Lismore Council's failure to install adequate guttering.
It is also claimed Mr Pillinger suffered significant injuries to his head, jaw and shoulder which left him permanently impaired.
Yesterday Mr Pillinger's wife Helen told the Sydney Supreme Court she was his full-time carer.
She said her husband, who was also being treated for cancer, was prone to angry outbursts and would often "fly off the handle" if he was around unfamiliar people.
The Pillingers' son Michael said he regularly drove his father to medical appointments and had to lift anything heavy.
When asked if he had seen his father perform physical work like "mowing the lawn" since the accident Michael replied "yes".
He was then asked about a series of photographs he took of the scene the morning after the accident.
One defence lawyer suggested he had taken the photographs specifically so they could one day be used as evidence in court.
Michael Pillinger said he had travelled to the scene with his mother because he "wanted to know what had happened to dad".
The trial, which continues today, is expected to run for the next two weeks.
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