Oil slip leads to shoulder injury and $600,000 lawsuit

IT WAS a slip that cost Gregory George Atkinson his career and resulted in a $600,000 lawsuit.

On a rainy afternoon on May 30, 2013, the truckie was driving a Hogan's Heavy Haulage work truck with a trailer on the back and pulled into the Marlborough Caltex truck stop for a rest break and to check his load.

At 5pm it's alleged Mr Atkinson, 59, climbed onto the step-deck trailer which was carrying a chock trailer to readjust one of the chains.

A claim lodged in the Rockhampton District Court alleges the step-deck trailer was "wet as it was raining and had hydraulic oil on it" which caused Mr Atkinson to slip while holding onto the chain, making his body twist and his legs fall over the edge of the trailer.

As a result of the fall, Mr Atkinson, who lives in Mackay, injured his right shoulder and "has required and will continue to require medical, surgical and conservative treatment," the claim said.

Mr Atkinson is suing Hogan's Heavy Haulage for $615,996.10 for personal injury and losses sustained as a result of the alleged breach of duty of care by his employer as they "failed to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risk of injury to Mr Atkinson while he was carrying out his employment duties", the claim said.

Maurice Blackburn office leader for Mackay and overseer of the case Cyndel Muscat told The Morning Bulletin yesterday the injury Mr Atkinson sustained had had a ripple effect on his life.

"The fall at work has caused a really serious injury which required surgery, has ongoing daily pain and a number of medical bills," Ms Muscat said.

"On top of that, he's had to change industries due to the injury, which isn't easy in your 50s, and struggles with daily chores such as hanging out the washing. Having leaking hydraulic oil on the surface made it unsafe and a safety analysis of the truck would have prevented that slip."

The Morning Bulletin contacted Hogan's Heavy Haulage and Mr Atkinson who both declined to comment.



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