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Drunk bikie awarded $950,000 - Taken from SMH

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by josh909, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. sigh...

    Drunk bikie awarded $950,000
    By Michael Pelly Legal Reporter
    June 8, 2005

    Peter MacKenzie admits getting drunk, and letting his drunk mate ride his unregistered Harley-Davidson.

    However, a court ruled yesterday that he was entitled to compensation of almost $1 million - because he didn't know what he was doing.

    The Gilgandra man was left a quadriplegic when the motorcycle ran off the Newell Highway with him as a pillion passenger in December 2000. He sued the Nominal Defendant - a division of the Motor Accidents Authority which handles claims when a vehicle is unregistered - and they agreed his claim was worth $4.75 million.

    However, the trial judge took the rare step of finding Mr Mackenzie 100 per cent responsible for the accident - a decision the Court of Appeal said yesterday was unfair.

    Justice Roger Giles said Mr Mackenzie had had no intention of driving or riding when he started drinking and that an 80 per cent reduction was more "equitable" .

    "Deliberate drinking to the point of severe intoxication exposed him to acting impulsively and without full consideration of what might occur …The departure from the standard of care of the reasonable man at this point cannot be ignored in putting Mr Brown in the driver's seat," Justice Giles said.

    He sent the case back to the District Court, where Mr Mackenzie will be entitled to a $950,000 payout on his recommendation. However, Matthew Seisen of the authority's legal firm, Dibbs Barker Gosling, said his client was expected to launch a defence of "circuity of action". This could return any money awarded on the basis that Mr Mackenzie had let Aaron Brown drive his Harley.

    Mr Mackenzie, then 34, had known Mr Brown, 27, had no licence and had rejected his earlier pleas during their drinking session that they should "get the hog".

    Mr MacKenzie's blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was estimated at 0.25 per cent and Mr Brown's at 0.19.

    Judge Harvey Cooper decided Mr Mackenzie had still known what he was doing, was "the driving force behind the journey" and that it was a worst-case situation of contributory negligence. But Justice Giles said Judge Cooper was wrong "to have regarded [Mr Mackenzie] as having engaged in a deliberate act of negligence".

  2. What a load of crap.

    there's another 950,000 you NSW road users have to pay in CTP and rego.

    If the powers that be are serious about drinking and driving (riding) then this shite needs to be thrown out of court.

    Why should other people pay for one idiots stupidity?
  3. Hey dazza can I get pissed and borrow your bike, I need the money :)
  4. do you also need the quadraplegia??
  5. it's lucky he didn't have a cup holder on his harley otherwise he could have scalded himself with mcdonalds coffee and scored another couple of million... ;)
  6. Sad series of events, of which he unfortunately has the rest of his life to constantly remind him it.
  7. Why the sigh? 950 k for the fact you will never walk again, nor be able to do most blue collar jobs? Meaning unemployment for the rest of your life?

    The court in the case did their job perfectly. Bloke claimed for 4.5 million, court said your 75% to blame, so instead you get 950k.

    Remember, unlike the states, pain and suffering and punitive damages doesn't happen here. The original 4.5 million would be how much it's going to cost to take care of the bloke for the rest of his life.
  8.  Top
  9. Im sorry to say but we are in an era where people dont take resposibility for thier actions .
  10. USA has a different law system, whereupon a judge can award punitive damages.

    This is where paying the $2000 hospital bill is not going to hurt the company, paying a couple of million will.

    Australia doesn't have this system. Most monetary awards are only for how much it will actually cost the plaintiff to recover from whatever happened.
  11. Which is why the judge only awarded 25% of the claimed for money, as the plaintiff was found to be 75% responsible for what happened.
  12. I suppose it is fair... this way he still gets to cover some of the medical bills (which is what this kind of claim fund is all about). I think it is a reasonable outcome, this guy has recieved a fair punishment for DD - life in a wheelchair.
  13. i know being a quadraplegic is a tuff way to learn, but i reckon stiff shit. i dont care how drunk you are, you still have SOME inkling of what you are doing. you still know its wrong, the difference is that you dont care :? and an unregistered bike too?!?! how farkin stupid can a man get :shock:

    yup, theres another 950k down the dunny :roll: good to see the money going to good causes.....
  14. To quote from the court case
    " At the time of the accident the appellant was 34 years old. He worked as a shearer"

    You think this bloke is going to be able to get another job? He is now 39 years old (incident happened in 2000).

    $950k for the next 40 years of your life and you have to pay medical bills and sit in a wheelchair?
  15. No, it's just some of our tax getting put back into circulation, and the fact that he was awarded it means Jack, considering that he will have to be cared for by the state anyhow, I wouldn't wish being a quad on anyone poor bugger.
  16. Read the actual court transcript and what happened.

    The plaintiff was drunk. His mate (in front of witness) badgered the guy into going for a ride with him.

    How many times when you've been drunk, has a mate managed to persuade you to do something stupid?
  17. Blaming he didnt know what he was doing because he was drunk is hogwash . He should be held 100% responsible and given nothing. Im sorry for what happened to him but we have enough ads in the media thats states what happens if you drink and drive . I nearly got taken out be a drunk driver a couple of weeks ago by a mere half metre . If i had of died then on this the driver would only be responsily for 25% of my death ?75% my fault for being on the road.
  18. Thats not exactly true. He'll get a disability support pension and maybe a lifestyle support package to cover the cost of institutional care or workers to support him in his home.

    What pi55e5 me off is that this bloke is really 100% responsible for deciding to get that pi55ed in the fist place :evil:

    Why can't people born with disabilities - who genuinely are 0% precent responsible for their condition get payouts like this?
  19. For eg, if a woman distracted by her kids in the backseat rear ends people at an intersection after pressing the accelerator instead of the brake, she will probably get a fair bit of money if she is paralised. These funds are not just set up to reward smart, responsible good drivers if the worst happens, they are for the lowest common denominator as well.
  20. Seems a fair decision without reading the judgment.

    People shouldn't focus on the $950K. This is just the media sensationalising the case.

    Just think, this poor fool is now confined to a wheel chair and probably has a shitty life. He probably doesn't even have a sex life anymore. Its not as if the money is going to be spent on luxuries. If the full assessment of his care was $4.5 mil he is going to need to spend every cent on the basics. And who do you think picks up the tab for the rest? Thats right, the tax payer thru medicare. Society at large ends up paying for it anyway.

    And who amongst us hasnt made bad decisions under the influence of alcohol. I know I probably did on the weekend, it just didn't end up this bad.