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Contributory negligence found against Plaintiff for left shoulder injury

Cvilikas v Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service [2023] QSC 36 – Hindman J

6 March 2023


On 10 December 2017 the Plaintiff suffered a left shoulder injury when working as a Patient Support Assistant for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (Defendant) at Nambour General Hospital. The Plaintiff suffered her injury when she intervened while a colleague was placing a mattress onto a hospital bed. Her left arm became caught between the mattress and the end of the bed.


The matter was heard before Justice Hindman in the Supreme Court at Brisbane on 23-23 June and 18 August 2022.

On 6 March 2023 Her Honour awarded judgment for the Plaintiff finding that the Defendant breached its duty to take precaution against a foreseeable risk of injury to the Plaintiff, that risk being a risk of injury to persons in the immediate area of where the mattress was being placed onto the hospital bed.  Her Honour was satisfied that if the Plaintiff had been given a verbal warning by her colleague to stand clear, it would have made a difference in eliminating or reducing the risk of injury that befell the Plaintiff.

While the Defendant was held primarily liable Hindman J did attribute 25% contributory negligence against the Plaintiff for the injuries she suffered. Her Honour stated that the Plaintiff’s conduct in intervening in the work being undertaken by her colleague was “interventionalist and unnecessary”.

After discounting on account of the contributory negligence finding, the Plaintiff was awarded $196,193.33 in damages clear of the WorkCover refund ($77,712.06).

A copy of the judgement can be found here.