Club sued over devastating fall of KAK’s late husband
THE lawyers for Kerri-Anne Kennerly's late husband are suing the Coffs Harbour golf course where he fell suffering life-changing injuries.
The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, interest and costs against Bonville International Golf Club was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of Mr Kennerley last September, five months before he died aged 78.
The matter was listed in the Supreme Court on Monday and was adjourned until next month to allow the club to file an expert liability report.
The statement of claim says Mr Kennerley was posing for a photo with his wife when he fell off the clubhouse veranda, through a garden bed and on to the ground 57cm below.
Iron Hill Management, which owns Bonville International Golf Club, has denied the fall was its fault and blames Mr Kennerley for failing to look where he was walking and tripping on a "prize".
Kerri-Anne told The Daily Telegraph the lawsuit was part of a long struggle with insurance companies since the accident.
"John and I survived for three years but other people could not and that does actually make me angry," she said.
"Whatever the circumstances are, for an accident for any insurance company to drag something out for almost three-and-a-half years is despicable."
According to the statement of claim, the Kennerleys were on the veranda of the prestigious Coffs Harbour club with two other people at 9pm on March 6, 2016.
"Before leaving, the two persons wanted to capture a photograph with (Mr Kennerley's) wife," the court document reads.
"(He) was also requested to take part in the photograph. (He) arose from his chair, took 1-2 steps back and to his left to stand behind his wife, when his left foot stepped on the edge of the verandah, adjacent to the garden bed, causing him to lose balance and fall.
"(He) fell through the garden area and onto the lawn area/ground surface below the garden and as a result suffered injury, loss and damage."
Mr Kennerley fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae in the fall and had to be put into an induced coma. When he woke he couldn't feed himself, talk and could barely breathe.
The claim states the golf club in Coffs Harbour was negligent in its duty of care because the veranda didn't have a railing or warning signs.
In its response, the club denied responsibility, saying Mr Kennerley's injuries were caused by his "own negligence".
"Particulars … (were) failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to look where he was walking, stepping into a garden bed (and) failing to take care not to step onto an object, prize, on the floor," the defence reads. It says the risk of harm was obvious and inherent and no duty of car was owed to the plaintiff.
Iron Hill Management declined to comment as the matter was ongoing.