According to the Sunshine Coast Daily, in 2011 Leon Scholl had just finished working his fifth straight, 14-hour day when he got into his car and began the 1000km, 10 hour drive home to Mutdapilly, south west of Ipswich. Mr Scholl’s workplace was at Coppabella, around 50km for Mornabah.
The 44-year-old boilermaker sustained permanent injuries including brain damage; a broken nose, ribs and right leg; a dislocated ankle and a knee injury when he hit a power pole on the Warrego Highway near Bowenville at around 4.50am.
A claim was lodged in the Rockhampton Supreme Court last week, approximately three years after the incident, against Mr Scholl’s former employer Environmental Group Ltd.
Environmental Group folded mid last year which means the action now must be taken against WorkCover Queensland.
Mr Scholl’s claim says, “the company failed to educate workers on the risks of driver fatigue, despite knowing they often drove long distances to get to work,” reports the Sunshine Coast Daily.
“(The claim) also said the defendant failed to provide a more reasonable roster that would have given him more time to get home, like working FIFO or working four weeks on, one week off.”
It also said the company failed to act upon the concerns raised by Mr Scholl and other employees about driving long distances.
Mr Scholl said the injuries he sustained included deep vein thrombosis, memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of the sense of smell and severe scarring to his face and ankle.
Mr Scholl is seeking more than $2 million worth of damages for his medical expenses and loss of earnings.