$1m award for diving accident
March 18, 2005
A MAN who became a paraplegic at 14 when he dived off a road bridge into a New South Wales river was awarded more than $1 million in damages today.
Philip Dederer, now 20, sued the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and the Great Lakes Shire Council in the NSW Supreme Court after he was paralysed in a diving accident off the Forster/Tuncurry Bridge into the Wallamba River on December 31, 1998.
Mr Dederer, from Newcastle, claimed the RTA and the council were negligent despite there being signs prohibiting diving, because the signs did not say diving was dangerous.
Justice John Dunford agreed and today awarded Mr Dederer $1,050,000 in damages.
He ruled the RTA was 80 per cent responsible for the accident and should pay $840,000, while the council was liable for 20 per cent of the damages to a total of $210,000.
The judge ruled the signs erected were inadequate because young people continued to dive from the bridge.
"I am satisfied that the signs were not effective in the sense that large numbers of young people continued to dive, do somersaults, etc from the bridge," he said.
But he ruled Mr Dederer was partially responsible for his injuries and therefore reduced his original $1.4 million payout by 25 per cent.
Outside court, Mr Dederer said he was relieved with the result but was concerned teenagers and children were still diving off the same bridge and the signs had not been changed.
"I wouldn't like to see another person get into the same position as I did," he said.
Judge Dunford ruled the RTA pay 80 per cent and the council 20 per cent of Mr Dederer's costs.
Too bad it didn't kill him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Its people like that, who cost the taxpayers a shitload of cash!!!!!
GGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! I'm pissed!!!
2 behind the ear. Not because he's crippled, but because he was an idiot before and he's a parasite now.
if it did kill him then it would be the parents of the kid getting the money.
Where was Darwin on this one?