$1m lawsuit harshly rejected by insurance company
A MORANBAH woman's lawsuit for almost $1 million has been rejected by the defendant, stating the amounts she is claiming are "unreasonable, exaggerated and manifestly excessive".
Deanne James, 42, of Moranbah has filed a lawsuit against the driver of a vehicle and the insurer, QBE Insurance, for a motor vehicle accident.
The accident in question was on December 18, 2016 at 3.15pm.
Ms James claims she was the front passenger of a 2012 Toyota HiLux which was travelling north along the Leichhardt Highway, between Miles and Wandoan.
A Kenworth prime mover truck was travelling on Gurulmundi Rd towards the Leichhardt Highway intersection.
The truck allegedly slowed down but didn't stop, turned right onto the highway and as a result collided with the front of the HiLux.
It was claimed the driver failed to give way to the oncoming vehicles on the highway, failed to exercise due care and skill in the management and control of the vehicle, and failed to keep any proper lookout.
As a result of the accident, Ms James claimed she suffered a spinal injury, soft tissue injuries to the right shoulder, extensive seatbelt injury to chest and lower abdomen, hand surgery, soft tissue and bone injuries to the foot and ankle.
She also allegedly developed psychological/psychiatric problems including an adjustment disorder and depression.
The court documents detail Ms James had endured and continued to endure pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life and capacity to enjoy life.
It was claimed she would require pharmacological, rehabilitative and medical treatment, and had a permanent partial disability.
Ms James is suing for damages for personal injury caused by negligence and/or breach of duty of the other driver which QBE Insurance is liable for.
General damages of $37,250 were claimed.
It was listed that Ms James was employed in positions of "physical nature", including instructor for wind surfing, sailing and snow skiing, a labourer and a plant operator/coal miner.
She has had work since the accident as a swim instructor and lifeguard, and a teacher's aide, during this time she claims she had a month off for hand surgery.
Taking this into account, she claimed a loss of income of $163,463.24 and a future economic loss of $769, 080.
Alongside this, there was a claimed past superannuation of $15,529 and future superannuation of $87,136.
For past special damages, $18,929.41 was claimed.
It was alleged Ms James would require analgesic, anti-inflammatory medications, massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture along with future surgery to remove screws from her hand, and plates and screws in her foot.
For this, $24,000 was claimed for future expenses.
The total amount claimed was $914,674.41.
The statement of claim was filed in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton on December 17, by Swanwick Murray Roche acting as the town agents for Mackay company, Taylors Solicitors.
A defence was filed on behalf of the driver and QBE Insurance by McInnes Wilson Lawyers on February 4.
The defence documents deny the foot and ankle injuries and claim they "believe (various statements) to be untrue as it is inconsistent with the medical and other evidence and medical assessment of the plaintiff (Ms James)".
QBE Insurance admitted Ms James endured some temporary pain and suffering, however denied she had a "permanent partial disability" as "it is inconsistent with the medical, employment and other evidence and expert medical opinion QBE Insurance will rely at trial".
They also denied various statements in relation to injuries.
The defence documents detailed the amounts Ms James had claimed were "unreasonable, exaggerated and manifestly excessive".
They further claimed "the plaintiff has not suffered and will not suffer in the future such loss, any injury suffered by the plaintiff was minor and predominantly transitory in nature, claims are beyond the exercise of a sound discretion."
QBE Insurance disputed Ms James was unable to work and stated she was "capable of working, undertaking physical and recreational activities and other activities".
An offer to settle was filed on February 4 by QBE Insurance.
Both parties lawyers have been contacted for comment.