A young woman catastrophically injured in a quad bike accident, on a King Island dairy farm, has been awarded compensation that will allow her to get the proper care and assistance she needs.
Tasmanian Supreme Court Justice Stephen Estcourt awarded British woman Holly Raper 6.8 million British pounds, almost 12 million Australian dollars, in damages, after he ruled the farm’s owners David and Jocelyn Bowden had been negligent and were liable for her injuries. The judge will rule on Monday on the issue of legal costs and uplift on fund management.
The young backpacker and talented photographer suffered a massive brain injury when she fell from a quad bike she was riding at work on 30 December, 2011.
“Holly is in need of 24 hour care and the compensation we have been awarded will go a long way towards helping us give her that,” Holly’s mother Elaine Raper said.
“Holly was on a trip of a lifetime. She had big dreams and hopes for the future. All of that changed as a result of her employers’ failure to protect her from foreseeable injury.”
The trial began in the UK in April before moving to Hobart. Evidence was presented that the bike Holly was riding on the day of the accident had significant defects, including disconnected rear brakes and excessive steering wear. The judge was also told that Holly had not been given sufficient training nor was she wearing a helmet.
Slater and Gordon Hobart lawyer Brian Hilliard, who represented Holly, welcomed the judge’s ruling.
“Holly’s family acknowledges that no amount of money can compensate for Holly’s loss,” Mr Hilliard said.
“It was important to them to show that it was Holly’s employer that was liable for her terrible injuries and to ensure, to the extent that money can, that proper care, accommodation and health care are available to Holly for the rest of her life.”
Mr Hilliard said it was disappointing that the case had not been resolved earlier and the parties were forced to go to trial.
Holly’s parents said were relieved that the long legal process was at an end and that Holly would be able to continue to receive the support she needs now and into the future.
“We would like to thank all of Holly’s friends, family and past colleagues for their love and support since her accident and to the medical professionals (both in Tasmania and also the Royal Preston Hospital), who have, and continue to, take such good care of our daughter.
“We also wish to thank Judge Stephen Estcourt for his decision and the legal teams both in the UK and Australia who have spoken so professionally on behalf of Holly and helped secure her future care.
“With this matter now concluded, our energies can be solely directed on helping our daughter in her ongoing recovery.”
The Raper family has made clear their wish is to be left alone to care for their daughter and will not be available for media interviews.