Wvans touch chief rejects compo ruling
By BREE PRICE
EVANS HEAD Touch Association president John Mayes has rejected accusations his group is guilty of negligence after an Evans Head man was awarded a $30,000 compensation payout for a knee injury suffered while playing a game.
Dallas McKinnon sued the association over the injury he received while playing on Stan Payne Oval at Evans Head three years ago. The oval had been damaged during a rodeo.
It is the responsibility of individual sporting bodies to decide before a game if the field is unsafe for play.
"We refute any allegations of negligence. We refute it vigorously," he said. "As president, I take it that it is my responsibility, but in my mind there was nothing wrong (with the ground).
"The players had the same vision of the ground as I had. Everyone has a decision to make.
"It goes back to an unfortunate accident. It can happen stepping off a gutter or walking down a footpath."
Mr Mayes said he was not aware of any plans to appeal against the decision.
However, NSW Touch Association general manager Dean Russell called on councils to be more diligent in ensuring sporting fields are suitable for play.
"From a State sporting association perspective, we would hope that while we are stressing to our members the importance of due diligence, councils should be also taking the same tack."
Richmond Valley Council insurance officer Lawrie Bonner said the council had repaired the field to the best of its ability and the courts had absolved the council of any blame.