A teenager is suing Big W after he suffered a gruesome injury while in a Queensland store on Boxing Day in 2019.
A teenager and his father are suing the Woolworths Group for a quarter of a million dollars after the boy sliced his Achilles while trying out an elliptical.
Toby Dunne, who was aged 12 at the time of his injury, had been with his father’s partner when he climbed onto the cross-training machine at Big W at Caneland Central, in Queensland, on Boxing Day 2019.
In his statement of claim, filed in the Mackay District Court, it was said he had stood on the machine and briefly pumped his legs before hitting an uncapped seat of a rowing machine with his left foot.
The impact of the blow was so strong it lacerated his Achilles and the then 12-year-old had to receive surgery on the tendon that day.
He is still feeling the effects of the injury.
The 14-year-old has difficulty running, squatting and moving up and downstairs, his statement of claim said.
Toby’s father Brad Dunne, who is overseeing his son’s court matters, told news.com.au his son was unable to continue his normal routine due to the injury.
“This was an accident waiting to happen because so many exercise machines were crammed into the one area,” he said.
“There were no signs telling people to keep off the equipment and some of the machines had sharp edges without protective covering. Toby is an active kid and wanted to play Aussie rules this year but is worried about the ongoing pain he experiences from his injury.”
Now, Mr Dunne and his son are suing Woolworths Group, as Big W is a subsidiary of the company, for $252,005.10 claiming alleged negligence resulted in the injury to the teen.
They are being represented by Shine Lawyers who said the incident was a disaster waiting to happen.
“Retailers have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their customers and we allege the Woolworths Group fell short on this occasion,” North Queensland Shine Lawyers General Manager Garreth Turner said.
“If exercise equipment is on display without any signage telling people to keep off, it‘s highly likely people will think they’re free to give it a go.
“The fact one of the exercise machines had dangerously sharp edges and was so close to the cross-trainer was a recipe for disaster.”
Woolworths Group said it could not comment on the matter as it is before the courts.
“We take the health and safety of our customers and team members very seriously. Our team members work hard to ensure the safety of all customers while in the store,” a spokesman said in a statement.
The quarter of a million-dollar claim figure has been found due to the 14-year-old’s loss of earning capacity.
He had previously wanted to be a carpenter but his statement of claim says the teen will be “at a gross disadvantage” of being employed due to his ongoing injury.
Extracted from News.com.au