Freak event: Miner to sue coal giant for $2.5 million

A 34-year-old miner has filed a court case against BMA.
A 34-year-old miner has filed a court case against BMA. Robert Rough

A MINER is suing BMA for more than $2.5million, claiming a slab of coal struck him while working.

Gavin Keith Cave, 34, filed for damages against BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance on Wednesday, his statement of claim blaming the mining company for not providing a safe working environment.

Mr Cave was at work on January 2, 2014 when he claims he was struck by a slab of coal falling off the longwall in front of him.

"(Mr Cave) was operating the shearer at the face of the longwall at about 1.30am," the statement of claim read.

It claimed he was standing where he was supposed to, under the standard operating procedure at the mine, when "a large slab of coal" separated from the face.

"Despite his best efforts to avoid being struck, (he) was struck by part of the slab of coal, forcing him into the leg cylinder of a chock," the statement of claim read.

A spokesperson for BMA said the company took the health and safety of all of its employees seriously and focused on preventing injuries to its people and ensuring everyone went home safe each day.

"This case unfortunately involved an injury being sustained by one of BMA's employees just over three years ago," the spokesperson said.

"Since this incident occurred, BMA has sought to provide ongoing support to the injured employee for that entire period."

Mr Cave claimed because of BMA's negligence he suffered tearing of the cartilage around the right shoulder and tears to ligaments in both knees.

He claimed he still suffers with pain more than two years after the coal fell on him and the injury will affect his right shoulder for the rest of his life.

The damage will also affect his knees for the rest of his life as well, according to his claim.

As a result he is suing BMA for $120,000 for general damages, $1,216,800 in lost future earnings, $137,498 for lost future superannuation, $440,000 for lost earnings since the incident and $50,000 for future loss of "discounted meal expenses".

The total of all the claims is $2,576,186.

These included allowing Mr Cave to be exposed to the risk, not reviewing the safety procedures at the mine and allowing him to be in that area of the mine when it knew or "ought" to have knows it was dangerous.

Mr Cave's legal representatives, Taylor Solicitors, declined to comment on the case.

Topics:  court editors picks mackay money

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