Posted on 13 Jun 2018
A former paramedic has been awarded a six-figure sum in the County Court, six years after suffering life-changing hip and back injuries after carrying a heavyset patient down two flights of steps.
After a 12-day trial, a jury last week awarded pain and suffering damages to Kristy – surname not to be published – who has since been unable to work as a paramedic because of ongoing hip and back pain caused by the accident.
Her lawyer Alisha Muscara from Slater and Gordon said she was thrilled that Kristy finally received the justice she deserved in relation to a preventable injury, which has had such a devastating impact on her life.
Kristy’s incident happened during a shift in June 2012 during her first few days as an ambulance intern.
While attending to a patient in St Kilda, the young paramedic was asked by a senior colleague to help carry a much larger 78-year-old patient down to flights of steps to get to the ambulance.
The steps were described as extremely narrow and awkward.
As a result she suffered serious hip and back injuries, which have since led to further physical and mental complications.
Kristy said it was a huge relief to have closure on the incident as she hoped to move on her life with her young family.
The 34-year-old Bulleen mother said had always wanted to become a paramedic and was devastated by the fact that she could continue this career as a result of her injuries.
She encouraged others to raise concerns when an employer or manager who asked them to do something they believed was unsafe.
“While I’ll never be able to work as a paramedic again, it is a relief knowing that my family and I have some more support moving forward,” Kristy said.
“It still bothers me that one decision has forever changed my life, my health and my career but it is time for me to move on.”
Mrs Muscara said the firm had been supporting Kristy since 2014, advocating for her best interests though negotiations, conferences and mediation. She said it was a great result for Kristy who had already suffered so much.
“We are extremely grateful that the jury has assisted us in finding justice for her after a long hard fight,” Mrs Muscara said.
“Kristy has every right to receive this support after an unsafe workplace decision, which had clearly impacted her health.”