Tradie sues for $1.4m after ’horrific’ injuries
A FIT, YOUNG Queensland tradie who suffered horrific injuries in a workplace accident says his future has been destroyed by the incident that he claims was caused by a poorly trained labourer.
Former roofer Keion Gibbs was 18 and working on a shed roof in late 2017 when, according to his claim, an incorrectly passed sheet of metal he was attempting to correct caught in a gust of wind and slammed through his ankle, severing his tendons and veins.
The now 21-year-old is suing his former employer for more than $1.4 million over the incident which he claims has robbed him of career prospects including his dream of joining the Army like his parents.
In a claim filed in the Supreme Court of Queensland, the Morayfield man says he was working on the roof of a shed in September 2017 being handed metal sheets by a poorly trained labourer who repeatedly passed the sheets up the wrong way around, despite Mr Gibbs' instructions.
According to the claim, when Mr Gibbs attempted to spin a sheet back the right way, the metal caught in a gust of wind and slammed into his ankle causing horrific injuries, severing tendons and veins and requiring multiple surgeries to piece back together.
Almost three years later, Mr Gibbs says he has been left with lasting injuries and he is unable to walk or stand for prolonged periods.
"(The injury) has never fully recovered," he said.
"Even though my surgery was about two years ago, it still swells up like a fresh injury as soon as I start doing a little bit of activity.
"I'm finding it quite a large struggle to find employment because there are not many jobs I can do - my standing time varies, some days I can do more than others but some days it's less."
Mr Gibbs said he had hoped to follow his parents' footsteps and join the Army but he claims that option was now gone, along with being a roofer, a job he had loved.
Shine Lawyers Solicitor Carla Melbourne is representing Mr Gibbs in the case brought against Mathew Hunt Roofing which is yet to file a defence.
"This is a terribly sad case where a young man's life has been thrown into uncertainty," Ms Melbourne said.
"This life changing accident happened in a split second and should act as a timely reminder to employers, no matter how big or small, to take their training requirements very seriously.
Ms Melbourne said the incident had severely limited the 21-year-old's job prospects.
"He's finding the prospect of choosing a new career path with a foot that will never be the same again overwhelming and hard to accept," she said.
Originally published as Tradie sues for $1.4m after 'horrific' injuries