VIC Apprentice - Tort law

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Kathyf, 12 July 2019.

  1. Kathyf

    Kathyf Member

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    Recently an Apprentice had accidentally put diesel into a petrol work vehicle. The apprentice had just got his driver's licence, he was not driving the vehicle, the owner of company was. Realising the mistake, the boss called his mechanic, was told to top vehicle up with petrol and then proceeded to drive the remainder of the day before taking vehicle to be flushed. Now the Apprentice has been sued under Tort Law and has a bill of over $22,000, for the vehicle and lost wages because of a vehicle down, this amount is impossible for him to pay. Why does the owner and driver of the vehicle, take zero responsibility, he continued to drive the vehicle. Why weren't any other circumstances taken into account. If the Law is such, then why even try to fight the case?. The apprentice lost his job over the incident, was unemployed for 6 months and now is just casually labouring.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    The apprentice should have sought legal advice at the time and the result may have been different.

    Has the matter been decided at court?

    If not, the apprentice either pays up or defends the matter. I suggest he gives me a call. Either way he is likely to be out of pocket something. I don't recommend trying to defend a tort action without legal assistance, especially negligence.

    There is an argument to be made the cause of the damage was the boss deciding to drive off knowing there is diesel in the car.
     
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  3. Kathyf

    Kathyf Member

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    Yes the matter has been to court, with representation - his lawyerr is now talking about appealing because nothing else was taken into account, totally black and white. The apprentice is beside himself bec has no way of paying this amount to start with. The apprentice knew that he had to pay something for his mistake but this is now the whole amount plus legal fees, doesn't seem right, the owner was driving the vehicle, took advice from the mechanic and then continued to drive. Don't businesses who take on apprentices have some type of insurance and aren't you as the trainer responsible for anything your apprentice may wrongly do?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    I agree with @Rod
    There is a van-load of contributory negligence here.

    Give Rod a call.
     
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  5. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    I hear you and agree, based on the information you have provided there is an excellent chance an appeal is warranted.

    What court was this in? I'm assuming a Magistrates' court somewhere in Vic.

    Did you see the submission that was made to the court?

    On what basis is the lawyer intending to appeal?

    How many days are left in which to appeal the decision?
     
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  6. Kathyf

    Kathyf Member

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    This was in the Broadmeadows Magistrates court on Thursday, the Apprentice is still reeling from the shock.
    The owner told the court that the vehicle was flushed straight away, which was untrue, the vehicle was topped up with petrol on advice of the mechanic and then driven all day before being flushed. A simple Google search states that if this occurs, stop driving and proceed to have engine flushed asap - surely this could have been avoided and lm no mechanic. $20 worth of diesel, that's it. I have come to the conclusion that because the owners insurance didn't cover this mishap, he is using the apprentice as a (scapegoat as such) sorry not familiar with legal term, basically someone's got to pay.
    Rod, what is the best way for him to contact you?
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    Check out my signature.
     
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  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Take comfort in that "scapegoat" is a perfectly acceptable term here.
     
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  9. Kathyf

    Kathyf Member

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    Thanks Tim, the reason why l say that is because, had he have had adequate insurance cover, this just turned 20 year old would probably still have his apprenticeship and not have a huge debt with no possible way to pay. It really diminishes my faith in our law, how can you possibly come to an outcome that crushes a young man without considering what may have contributed to this palava.
     
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