Inland railway.
Inland railway. Mike Richards

Ex-labourer suing for $1million for unsafe workplace

A ROCKHAMPTON man has filed to sue a multinational construction company for more than $1million after he was injured on the job.

Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers filed a court claim with the Rockhampton Registry of the Supreme Court of Australia on April 18, on behalf of Andrew Geritz against Laing O'Rourke Australia Constructions Pty Ltd.

Mr Geritz, now 30, of Norman Gardens, was employed by a recruitment agency supplying labour to Laing O'Rourke, which was contracted for the construction of the electrification of a rail line between Blackwater and Springsure.

According to the court claim, on January 11, 2014, Mr Geritz was told by his supervisor to collect and load a concrete kibble (piece of equipment) into the back of a motor vehicle.

The ground was wet, muddy, heavily rutted and uneven due to wet weather and heavy use by trucks and other machinery, Mr Geritz claims.

Mr Gertiz said he had to retrieve tie-down straps from the back of the motor vehicle and when he descended from the back of the vehicle to the ground, he landed on an uneven and rutted surface.

It is alleged as weight went onto his leg it buckled and caused an injury to his left knee.

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According to the claim, Mr Geritz suffered a complete rupture of an old injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.

He said it also caused tears of the medial and lateral meniscus and cartilage damage to his left knee joint.

Mr Gertiz had surgeries for the injuries in April 2014.

On November 20, 2014, Mr Gertiz was going up scaffolding when there was another re-rupture of his previous knee injury.

It is claimed this re-rupture would not have occurred without the first injury.

The claim alleges the injuries were caused by the negligence of Laing O'Rourke for a series of reasons including failure to keep the surface area flat, failure to conduct any risk management and allowing Mr Geritz to work in an unsafe area.

According to the claim, Mr Geritz suffers from ongoing pain and restriction on his left knee and it swells with activity.

He left employment working in a wash plant as he couldn't handle the hundreds of steps required to "walk up" during a shift.

The claim details a series of losses from pain and suffering, past and future economic and superannuation loss, general damage and future travel and medical costs to the amount of $1,092,429.50.

Laing O'Rourke is yet to file a defence in the proceedings.

Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers declined to comment.