Quick Case Review: O’Brien v Merton & Anor [2020] QDC 299

This case [O’Brien v Merton v Anor [2020] QDC 299] follows claim by Ms. O’Brien (plaintiff) who suffered injuries as a result of a car accident.

The Plaintiff was in her vehicle and driving along 19th Avenue on the Gold Coast when the defendant’s vehicle collided [t-boned] into the plaintiff’s vehicle after exiting from a service station.

Injuries that Ms. O’Brien suffered include an injury to the lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and cervical spine – all of which are of typical nature to whiplash, as explained in a previous post of ours.

Before this event, Ms. O’Brien had studied assistant nursing, to which she later enrolled into nursing for college. Considering her courses, she had 3 years of practical experience. This included placements at a nursing home and two local hospitals.

Tasks and expectations for her role vary, but there were often jobs that were physically strenuous.

At the weight 45kg, and height of about 152cm, Ms. O’Brien’s occupation is quite demanding.

She was required to:

  • assist patients access the restroom – this may include devices to help transport patients
  • change bedsheets – bed-bound patients
  • help patients walk – patient transfers

… and other efforts that require significant effort and use of her back.

The plaintiff is also a single mother caring for three children of the ages 8, 1 and 5 months. The care of her children become increasingly difficult with the nature of her injuries.

While she has some level of nursing qualifications, Ms. O’Brien also does have experience in minor administrative assistance, customer services, and a gym attendant. Due to her injuries however, this will affect her job prospects as she is unlikely able to perform physical tasks.

Judgement was for the plaintiff for a total of $41, 560.00.