Injured QLD miner receives $864 000

A drag line operator in Queensland has been awarded $864 000 in damages after he sustained a serious foot injury at work which caused him to lose his job.

The case went to trial in the Supreme Court (Civil) in Mackay to determine how much should be awarded in damages for the injuries Paul Koven, 50, in November 2007.

Almost half a million of the sum awarded to Koven was for “future economic loss”, as the widowed father-of-two lost his high paying job and now works as a bus driver, the Mackay Daily Mercury reports.

His injuries included torn ligaments, damage to bone and cartilage and secondary instability of his left ankle caused by ligament injury.

He underwent surgery for the injuries in May 2008 and suffered repeat infections and remained in a “moon boot” until September that year.

“As might be expected the injury has had a significant impact on his ability to enjoy his life,” Justice Duncan McMeekin said in a judgment handed down last week.

“He is a widower with two teenage daughters and cannot engage in activities with them nor enjoy his pre-accident pursuits of golf, snorkelling, fishing or walking to the same degree.

“He complains of on-going pain, usually present.

“There is no suggestion that he had overplayed his injuries and my impression generally was that he was quite stoical.”

In September 2008, Koven returned to the Hail Creek site for six weeks, performing restricted duties on a return-to-work program.

“His employment was terminated on April 24, 2009, because he could not perform his full range of duties and no suitable duties could be found for him,” Justice McMeekin said.

Mr Koven then worked as a casual truck driver for about 10 months and then started work as a bus driver.
A total of $919 088 was awarded to Koven, $170 000 for past economic loss, $495 000 for future economic loss, $60 000 in damages.

Workcover receives a refund of $52 602.

Also in Queensland, a court is determining how much a mine worker who accidentally ran over a co-worker will be required to pay in fines.

Image: Rio Tinto

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.