Motorbike rider awarded $1.17m for injury on dodgy road

DAVID Pillinger's motorbike slipped out of control on loose road materials on a Nimbin road and sent him hurtling to the ground in 2006.

His skull was cracked and his life forever changed by Boral Asphalt's failure to clear loose gravel, aggregate and rock from beside the road during construction works.

Heavy storms washed them onto the road and made it unsafe.

The experienced motorcyclist was awarded $1.17 million for his injuries - a payout Boral has now failed to have overturned on appeal.

Lismore City Council and Boral were both found to have been negligent in their duty to provide a safe road, with Boral shouldering 60% of the blame and council 40%.

But the company's breaches of contract with council meant it was liable to pay for the entire compensation package.

Boral appealed against both Mr Pillinger and Lismore City Council but has ended up having to pay more than the original ruling.

It argued Mr Pillinger had failed to prove the company had been negligent and sought to quash the damages he was awarded.

In response, Mr Pillinger filed a cross-appeal against an original ruling that limited his payout by 10% because he had already ridden on the road once that day and should have known it posed a risk.

Witnesses, including a police officer who attended the scene, all said they saw loose gravel around the Blue Knob Rd accident site.

NSW Court of Appeal Justice Julie Ward dismissed Boral's appeal and ruled in favour of Mr Pillinger's cross-appeal, finding the 10% reduction in damages should be cancelled.

Boral also failed in its appeal against paying council's costs because of breach of contract.

Justice Ward agreed Boral was to blame for Mr Pillinger's injuries and dismissed the appeal, with Boral to pay all of council's and Mr Pillinger's costs.


Topics:  appeal bitumen construction court crash damages lismore city council litigation motorcycle negligence nimbin roads

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