EVANS Head plumber Dallas McKinnon has been awarded more than $30,000 in compensation after he sued his local touch football club for negligence over a knee injury suffered while playing a game.

The accident happened three years ago on Valentine's Day and Mr McKinnon required re-constructive knee surgery and was off work for eight weeks.

President of the Evans Head Touch Football Association, John Mayes, said the accusation of negligence 'cut very deep', and the judgment would probably increase insurance costs for players across the state.

AFTER hearing he had just won $30,697 compensation for a knee injury, Evans Head plumber Dallas McKinnon was not in the mood for celebrating.

"It's been going on for three years. I just want it to end," said the 33-year-old father of two.

Mr Mckinnon had sued the Evans Head Touch Football Association for negligence because before his 2002 game the playing field had been damaged by a rodeo.

He required surgery and took 12 months to regain normal use of his knee, which still caused him pain at his job with Mid-Richmond Plumbers in Coraki, he said.

Acting judge Brian Boulton, in the NSW District Court in Sydney, said the surface was pockmarked with holes, and photos taken by Mr McKinnon's wife, Michelle, demonstrated the dangerous condition of the field.

Mr McKinnon said all he ever wanted was the $7000 it cost him for his knee operation. Eighteen months ago, having already incurred costs of $20,000, the family approached the insurance company offering to walk away from the whole thing.

However he said the insurance company wanted to pursue the matter, and suddenly the family was facing a bill of around $80,000 and the even the possibility of losing their home.

Mr McKinnon said reports he had already sued the Richmond Valley Council and settled out of court were untrue.

As the owners of Stan Payne Oval he had originally sued the council, however the action later became directed towards the touch football association.

"The last thing I wanted to do was go down there and upset the football association. But that's the way it ended up," he said.

Association president John Mayes said accusations of negligence 'cut deep'.

"Because, as far as the conditions of the field went, I don't think there was any danger."

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