Mum sues gym over son’s horror weightlifting death

The heartbroken mother of a beloved Brisbane schoolboy has revealed her decision to sue Queensland PCYC, following his death in a horrific weightlifting accident in 2017.

Ben Shaw, 15, was bench-pressing alone at the Bray Park PCYC on the night of September 26, 2017, when the weight fell across his throat.

He suffered critical injuries and was not found for more than 20 minutes. He died in hospital.

His mother, Dalya Shaw, told The Sunday Mail she decided to sue the organisation to ensure "this type of incident would be prevented from ever happening again".

Ben Shaw with mum Dalya.
Ben Shaw with mum Dalya.

"I want to invoke change and prevent another family's lives from being turned upside down and going through what I have and continue to go through," she said.

Ms Shaw said Ben was her best friend, and she is desperate for answers about why he was left to work out alone in the facility that night.

Work Health and Safety is prosecuting Queensland PCYC.

It is alleged the PCYC failed to comply with a health and safety duty and exposed individuals to a risk of death or serious injury.

A magistrate has described the case as "complex" and a matter that could take years to resolve.

Ben Shaw died following a mishap at a PCYC gym.
Ben Shaw died following a mishap at a PCYC gym.

"Ben and I had a uniquely close relationship and his death has completely devastated me," Ms Shaw told The Sunday Mail.

"What has happened is not OK and never will be OK, regardless of any legal outcomes."

Ms Shaw has sued the Queensland PCYC, alleging in her District Court claim that they should have supervised her son while he was lifting weights.

Ms Shaw alleges there were "many measures" that could have been taken to prevent her son's death.

She alleges "many procedures that were either not in place or not followed … could have avoided this happening".

In her claim, Ms Shaw accuses the PCYC of breaching its duty by failing to adequately supervise her son and failing to use CCTV to monitor gym users.

Ben Shaw was tragically killed in an accident at a PCYC gym.
Ben Shaw was tragically killed in an accident at a PCYC gym.

Ms Shaw says in her claim that her son's death makes her feel "sad and numb" that she has lost her only child.

She is seeking $16,150 in general damages for the adjustment disorder with depressed and anxious mood she suffered from the shock of being told about Ben's injury and death and seeing him in hospital, as well as $64,873 in lost earnings and $500,000 for lost future earnings.

No defence has been filed and no hearing date has been set.


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