Civic nightclub Mooseheads has been ordered to pay a Canberra man more than $889,000 after he was seriously injured while being ejected from the club in 2001.
Allan Wormald’s 35th birthday celebrations went sour when a bouncer fell on top of him as he was being kicked out of the bar.
He sued Mooseheads after suffering a fractured femur and a dislocated hip that affected his work and left him with back and hip pain.
In a judgment published yesterday, ACT Supreme Court Justice Anna Katzmann said Mr Wormald would ”never forget his 35th birthday” in November 2001.
The court heard Mr Wormald and his friends had been celebrating the day with drinks at the Belconnen Labor Club before heading to Mooseheads at about 11pm.
Mr Wormald told the court he became angry after one of his friends was asked to leave the club and went over to remonstrate with the bouncer.
The bouncer then told him to get out of the club and Mr Wormald swore at him.
He said the bouncer grabbed his arms and began marching him out of the club at an accelerating pace, causing him to walk straight off a set of steps and fall to the ground.
The bouncer ”rode” him to the ground and fell on top of him. Lawyers for Mooseheads’ owners Caftor argued that Mr Wormald had contributed to his own injuries because he was drunk, aggressive, tried to assault the bouncer and resisted being thrown out.
The bouncer at the heart of the incident, Steve Vosnakes, gave evidence that he went to eject a man who was waving a pool cue around “like a javelin” and who tried to swing a fistful of pool balls at him.
Mr Vosnakes told the court he put the man in a “full Nelson” armlock and made a beeline for the door but the man struggled, causing both of them to fall off a step and onto the ground.
But Mr Wormald and his friends told the court there was no violence, he was calm as he was being ejected and did not resist Mr Vosnakes.
One friend said Mr Wormald was being gripped “like a puppet” and was marched straight off the steps, falling to the ground with the bouncer on top of him.
He was unable to move his legs and had to be helped out of the bar after the incident.
Mr Wormald was taken to hospital by ambulance, had two operations in five weeks, and still suffered pain more than 10 years later.
Justice Katzmann ordered Caftor to pay Mr Wormald a total of $889,419 in damages, expenses and loss of earnings.
(Source: Canberra Times, Natasha Rudra, 27/06/2012)
About Rushmore Forensic
Andrew Firth is a forensic accountant who has conducted numerous investigations and other forensic accounting engagements in both Australia and overseas. He specialises in economic loss and loss of earnings calculations, personal injury compensation and other forensic accounting services for commercial disputes. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has appeared as an Expert Witness in numerous jurisdictions.
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