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Crawl guitarist wins $330,000 compo

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by carver, May 25, 2006.

  1. Crawl guitarist wins $330,000 compo
    Thursday May 25 15:16 AEST

    Former Australian Crawl guitarist Simon Binks was drunk when he crashed his car and suffered brain damage, but a court has ruled the accident was not all his fault and awarded him $330,253 in compensation.

    Binks was almost three times the legal drink-driving limit when his Mercedes Benz hit a power pole in Milsons Point in Sydney in July 1995.

    The 49-year-old successfully sued North Sydney Council in the NSW Supreme Court for negligence over the incident, claiming roadworks at the site were not properly lit or signposted.

    Justice Clifton Hoeben found the council breached its duty of care, saying the layout of roadworks and inadequate signage "created a confusing and ambiguous situation" which could have led to motorists being killed or seriously injured.

    But he also found that Binks's drink driving - he recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.133 after the accident - had substantially contributed to the smash.

    The former rocker would have been entitled to almost $918,000, but Justice Hoeben reduced his damages by 65 per cent for contributory negligence.

    The judge said although Binks was "well affected by alcohol at the time of the accident", there was no evidence "that he was not endeavouring to keep a proper lookout as best his intoxicated state would allow".

    He was satisfied that, had the council provided better and clearer signage, Binks would have taken notice of it.

    The extent of Binks's brain damage was disputed but the judge said he suffered weakness in his right hand which, given his previous expertise as a guitarist, caused him considerable anxiety.

    "It is clear that as a result of the accident the plaintiff has lost the ability to work as a lead guitarist in the music industry," Justice Hoeben said.

    Binks had also apparently lost some of his creative ability and "has not produced any new songs or any music of significance" since the accident, he said.

    Since 1998 the former rocker has survived on his disability pension, royalties from Australian Crawl songs and his wife's earnings.

    Binks, who lives in Melbourne, was not in court for the decision but his solicitor Steven Kaouna said it was "a fair judgment".

    "Simon was disabled quite considerably by this accident and it's good to see that the court did find there was a breach of duty by the council," Mr Kaouna told AAP outside the court.

    "He's very happy that a just award was handed down by the court."

    The general manager of North Sydney Council, Penny Holloway, was "disappointed" by the judgment.

    But she said the finding that Binks was 65 per cent liable for the accident showed "there was a significant degree of responsibility sheeted home" to him.

    ©AAP 2006
  2. Wait till North Sydney Council appeals the decision......
  3. I can't belive that you can claim that someones contributed to a stack when you are that far over the limit. :shock:

    Anyway, Im sure the lawer will take a fair share of that $300k .
  4. What a joke :shock: he should get nothing and should have stuck to crawling,I hope it gets reversed and he has to pay the costs :p
  5. Without having listened to all the evidence over the course of the trial, your opinion is worth.....zip, I'm afraid.

    I'm impressed, though. We could save zillions of dollars on courts, judges, magistrates...just email a short summary of allegations to a few people like you and we can get instant justice without all that boring evidence business. :roll:

    The issues in this case would have been...(a) was the council negligent? (the court heard all the evidence and decided "yes"); then...(b) to what extent did he contribute to his own injuries by driving while pissed?; then...(c) what's the extent of his damages, and finally (d) how much should they be reduced because of his own contribution to them?

    Without hearing the evidence on each of these points and knowing how these matters are decided, you're in no position to say anything credible about this case.

    I don't like the idea of drunk drivers at all (and I hope he got prosecuted for it - I assume so), but that's not the issue here.

    (Kneejerk reactions - I blame the Herald Sun. :LOL: )
  6. I'm with Gromit on this one. If there is a written judgment, at least read it before slagging off the system. 65% contiributory negligence is a fair whack and probably justified by the evidence.

    As for the waste of your tax dollars, who do you think would pay for his care if he got nothing? Your tax dollars still pay for it through the welfare system. The money he will get probably came from the councils insurer and we all know they need as much money as they can get. Their profits are nearly as fat as they would like.

    BTW $330,000 is not going to go far for a guy with a brain injury.
  7. What shits me is this guy only very mildly disabled from the accident, many more people out there more seriously injured getting squat from the Goverment. To add insult to injury this guy hadn't contributed a damn thing to the music industry since the Crawl broke up over a decade earlier. So t claim moneys for lost earnings is a complete crock. The reason he couldn't write any good songs was because he was always a hack and the other band members were the ones with talent.
    This countries law system is fcuked. period.
  8. Even though the facts may (or may not) in the average persons judgement, support the 45% liability I still think it sends a bit of a dud message to people.

    Get pissed, stack, find someone (other than yourself) to blame. Hey presto here is some money. I think it sends a poor message due to a couple of things:

    1. Most people won't reasearch too deeply and will just go on what they read in the paper.
    2. He was pissed and still got a payout.

    On the surface that seems pretty wrong but who knows maybe there was a dirty great hole in the ground with no signs etc (or any one of a number of possiblities).
  9. Not quite the exact situation, but pretty close...

    Indisposed - Australian Crawl

    Wanna tell you 'bout my Frenda
    He got hit by a Fender
    But he'll soon be on the menda
    He's of the male genda

    Glad to see that he's on his way
    He's not for Burial today

    Because he's in... he's indisposed
    Because he's in yeah yeah... he's indisposed

    Found him outside the dry cleaners
    Oh the drivers misdemeanors
    I've never seen a face so greena
    He looks a like the cats dinner

    Glad to see that he's on his way
    He's not for Burial today

    Because he's in... he's indisposed
    Because he's in yeah yeah... he's indisposed

    He got hit by a car
    Now he's lying on the tar
    Had an experience bizarre
    Not unlike that makes you laugh ra! ra! hey!

    Glad to see that he's on his way
    He's not for Burial today

    Because he's in... he's indisposed
    Because he's in... he's indisposed
    Because he's in yeah yeah... he's indisposed
  10. Is it true that when he walked into the court room the magistrate started singing "Oh No Not You Again"........
  11. He was being rather "reckless"!!
  12. Most musicians' careers taper off once they're past 30, anyway. So to claim that this "accident" has affected his income earning ability is somewhat tenuous, to say the least.

    For the rest of us, if we're involved in a crash and alcohol is involved, you watch the insurer drop you like a hot potato. There's no reason why this guy should be any different.

    Perhaps it's celebrity playing a part. I dunno. Whatever, it certainly sends the wrong message regarding responsibility. If the guy wasn't pissed, would he have still crashed?

  13. +1...... Guys a knob... but if there is shit lighting around a dangerous "roadwork in progress" area then liability is on the council.

    I think it's a pretty fair judgement considering he should've got 900k
  14. If the case ran to verdict, the insurer wasn't just opening its wallet. They ran the case rather than settling it because they wanted to make the guy prove his argument and establish his loss.

    We can say "his career was washed up anyway" - well, he would have had to come up with evidence about his career: past, present and likely future. And the insurer (through its lawyers) would have challenged that, perhaps by calling evidence that he was a has-been.

    And after listening to all this and thinking hard, the court made its ruling.

    People may not like the sound of the end result, but if they weren't there to hear all this stuff and weigh it up, they're merely uninformed.
  15. So let me get this straight, if I'm 5kmh over the speed limit and a little girl rides her bike onto the road in my path and get's hit, I'm automatically at fault in the eye of the law because I was speeding, (just like the TAC ad), BUT, If I'm pissed and crash I can blame the council for having ambiguous signage, that probably would have been completely clear and understandable, had I not been pissed!

    I don't care how much of the evidence I have seen, he was pissed and shouldn't have been behind the wheel of the car to put himself in that situation. IMHO he contributed 100% to his accident by driving the vehicle in the first place.

    I wonder if the defence brought in all the other drivers that crashed there that day............probably none?
  16. That's the great thing about jury duty - there's no mininum qualifications requirements...

    That's all true. But from my perspective it's more of a position of philosophy; I have problems with drunk drivers getting part absolution of their sins.

    We've seen it here time and again, when a drunk driver gets sent up the river for his or her crimes, and there is very little sympathy for them. And it's understandable that people think much the same about this case.
  17. If he was over the limit he shouldn't have been driving the fuking car in the first place, ergo he would not have had a problem with road warning signage or crashing.

    Were I the NSW Police Dept I would appeal the verdict.
    I think in the REAL world few people will accept the court's chosen verdict.

    Was the Judge pissed when he made the decision?

    We all know what drunken sots they turn out to be.

    Was he even awake?

    It's worse in the USA, fail to yeild right of way, kill a rider and in some States it's as little as a $50 fine.
    Though ABATE and other riding groups are having some succsess at changing that.
  18. This case didn't have anything to do with his crimes, though. The question of drunk driving is dealt with by the criminal law (and I hope it was in this case).

    The issues here were different. The council had a duty to light and signpost its roadworks properly, which the court found it hadn't met. Because they failed to do what they were supposed to, someone was injured.

    Did he contribute to his own injury? Yes, the court found that by being drunk he had been very significantly (but not totally) at fault. So they took hundreds of thousands of dollars off the amount he would have received if he hadn't been drunk.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    Turning it round...if you drive a car through a local shopping strip at 160 klicks and hit a pedestrian, why should you be found not to be liable just because the pedestrian happens to be pissed?
  19. Nope if he was drink driving NO MONEY , Weather the road had 10 foot pot holes and no lights, if he wasnt drinking he might have driven to the conditions so hes a lucky barstard that he didnt kill anyone or would he have still been entitled to money :shock: I dont think so
  20. That's what the court found. That's why they said he couldn't have most of what he'd otherwise be entitled to. The council had been negligent, and so had he.