Centrelink worker from Coffs suing council for $378,000

A CENTRELINK worker is suing the Gold Coast City Council for more than $300,000 after she allegedly fell into a hole on a nature strip.

Yasmyn Parkinson, 43, claims she will "never been the same again" and should have been warned about the hole.

The Coffs Harbour woman alleges she is constantly in pain and has suffered financial loss after a night out with family at the then-NightQuarter precinct in Helensvale on December 30, 2016.

Yasmyn Parkinson is suing the Gold Coast City Council after she allegedly fell into a hole on a nature strip after leaving the then-NightQuarter precinct in Helensvale. Picture: Mike Batterham
Yasmyn Parkinson is suing the Gold Coast City Council after she allegedly fell into a hole on a nature strip after leaving the then-NightQuarter precinct in Helensvale. Picture: Mike Batterham

She told the Bulletin she had been on holidays with her son celebrating her aunt's 60th birthday when her life was "turned upside down".

In a claim filed in the Southport District Court last month, Ms Parkinson alleges she was walking along the nature strip on Town Centre Dr on the way back to the family car when her right foot sunk into a hole.

She suffered soft injuries to her right foot, leg and ankle, and required surgery on her shoulder as a result of the ordeal, it is alleged in the court documents.

It's also alleged she suffered a post-surgical infection and psychiatric injury.

The hole, concealed by overgrown grass or weeds, was about 200mm in diameter and up to 700mm deep, it is claimed.

Yasmyn Parkinson claims she will “never be the same again”.
Yasmyn Parkinson claims she will “never be the same again”.

Ms Parkinson is suing the council for negligence, claiming it failed to respond to the hole in a timely manner, barricade or cordon it and provide adequate warning.

She also accused the council of allowing the hole to remain despite having knowledge of it and claimed it had never, or adequately, "filled the hole".

The documents state the hole was created by the removal of a post, pole, sign or other like object.

She is seeking damages in the amount of $378,874 - claiming medical expenses as well as past and future economic loss.

Following surgery on her shoulder in 2017 and she has been forced to limit her work hours due to the ongoing pain and discomfort.

The claim alleges she was wearing Diana Ferrari Supersoft shoes, the nature strip was well lit, and the conditions were dry.

"It should have been a celebration, but it turned into a tragedy for me," Ms Parkinson told the Bulletin.

"It's completely and utterly torn my life apart. My life has been turned upside down ever since."

The Centrelink worker is suing the Gold Coast City Council for more than $300,000. Picture: Richard Gosling.
The Centrelink worker is suing the Gold Coast City Council for more than $300,000. Picture: Richard Gosling.

Ms Parkinson told the Bulletin the injury had put a strain on her son, who has special needs and autism, and her marriage.

The claim alleges the council failed to adequately maintain the strip, and ensure it was safe - and argues there was a "foreseeable risk of injury" to the public due to the foot traffic.

"There is a direct casual connection between … the defendant's breach of duty and … the plaintiff's injury, loss, and damage arising from the incident," the claim stated.

The Gold Coast City Council said it was unable to comment as the matter was before the courts. It is yet to file its defence.


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