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Drunk man awarded $650,000 after falling on tracks

Apr 17, 2013News

Railcorp has been ordered to pay $650,000 to a man who was hit by a train after he drunkenly fell onto the train tracks at Mortdale station.

CCTV footage shows the man drunkenly somersaulting onto the tracks after kneeling on the edge of the station. He was then hit by the 3.05am train as he sat on the tracks.

The drunken man sued RailCorp for $1.3 million and was awarded half of that after the judge found that the driver of the train breached his duty of care by failing to use the emergency brake as soon as he saw an object on the tracks.

Loco Division Secretary Bob Hayden said the finding is unbelievable.

“The driver saw what he thought was some rubbish on the tracks and then reacted as quickly as possible to stop the train as soon as he realised that something wasn’t right.

“You can’t be expected to stop a train dead in its tracks. The driver reacted as soon as he possibly could to the situation. To find that the driver breached his duty of care is gobsmacking.”

RailCorp is said to be reviewing the decision and the Loco Division will be writing to RailCorp to arrange a meeting to discuss the implications of this case for members.

“In particular this raises questions around how potential network delays will be handled in the event that members make a risk based decision to limit their train speed. If drivers are going to have their duty of care questioned in situations similar to this, its important that all the possibilities and ramifications of that are discussed now with the company.

Hear RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva’s discussing the issue on 2UE here. Interview starts approx. 2min into the podcast.

See the RTBU Footplate memo relating to the issue here