A woman whose husband was killed in a tragic accident in a Sydney car park has filed a public liability injury claim with the New South Wales court, claiming a "hopelessly non-compliant" metal railing was to blame.
According to Sky News Australia, the accident occurred when Thomas Lee was riding in his car in the second-storey car park of the Carlton Crest Hotel when the car went off the side of the structure. The car landed on its roof, and although emergency officials rushed him to the hospital, he died from his injuries a short time later.
Now, Ms Lee is suing the City of Sydney Council and the hotel, claiming each was negligent and led to the death of her husband. She argues that she watched her husband reverse the car into a parking spot only to hit the railing behind him. However, the railing gave way, and the car fell to the ground.
The accident occurred in 2006, and in 2008 an official investigation found that because of the poor design of the car park, such a tragedy was an "accident waiting to happen", according to NSW Deputy Coroner Hugh Dillon.
Public liability injury claim from a preventable accident
In the complaint, Ms Lee says she has suffered from nervous shock as well as the loss of potential earnings both her and her husband could have collected. She alleges the hotel could have done much more to secure the car park and the council approved a railing that did not meet specific safety regulations for cars.
"This accident wouldn't have occurred if the concrete wheel stop had been properly secured or the metal barrier had not been a metal barrier but had been a concrete barrier," said Ms Lee's compensation lawyer.
Demonstrations showed the wheel stop that had been put in the car park had not been properly secured, and the barrier was not adequate for supporting the load of a car.
In the end, the court ruled that the council had approved of the barrier despite being "hopelessly non-compliant" with Australian standards.
NSW residents are entitled to pursue a public liability injury claim anytime they are injured in a public place and it is caused by the negligence of another party.
This can occur in a wide range of situations, so it's important to speak with a compensation lawyer to determine if there is a potential for legal action after an accident.