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Injured quad bike rider settles legal case

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A farmer who is lucky to be alive after a quad bike rolled over him in north-east Victoria has received compensation, after taking legal action against his employer.

John Hortin received a six figure settlement for the injuries he sustained while working on a farm in Alexandra in 2010.

“I was riding a quad bike that had been overloaded with a spray tank on the back, and as I went up an embankment the bike flipped and landed on me,” Mr Hortin said.

“I was in a coma for eight days, with sixteen broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, a broken scapula and I have had two cardiac arrests. I’m lucky to be alive.”

Since his accident, Mr Hortin has spoken out about the need to make quad bikes safer.
“Farm workers continue to face serious risks because they are still being permitted to ride without helmets and without rollover protection,” Mr Hortin said.

Slater and Gordon WorkCover lawyer Tim Jackson, who is based in Wangaratta, said Mr Hortin was not the first farmer he had represented who had been injured while riding a quad bike.

“Unfortunately, quad bikes continued to be one of the main causes of workplace death and injury on farms,” Mr Jackson said.

“In recent years I have represented a number of farmers who have been injured while working on properties in north-east Victoria. Our firm has had similar cases in other parts of the State too.”

Mr Jackson said he hoped recent Coronial Inquests in other States may lead to change.

“There have been too many deaths and injuries from quad bikes across Australia and it is pleasing to see that there is a recognition that more needs to be done to reverse that trend."

“Research conducted by Slater and Gordon has found that one in six Victorian workers had seen safety concerns being ignored by their employer.

“Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workers are not placed at risk.”