NT Spectators – ‘Injury’ case settles for for excess of 3.4 million

NT Spectators – ‘Injury’ case settles for for excess of 3.4 million


NT Spectator Injury Case at RedNATS Event Alice Springs Raceway settles for $3.4 million and sends clear message to organisers as to the impact of breach of duty of care

A number of Northern Territory and Western Australian Claimants have settled a class action in the Federal Court of Australia at Sydney for an amount of $3.4 million in damages and insurance benefits, with the case highlighting the extent of personal injuries suffered as a result of serious injuries sustained by spectators at the Alice Springs Inland Dragway on 3 September 2017.

The case was conducted by Greg Walsh OAM of Greg Walsh & Co Solicitors of Oatley in Sydney. The initial advice provided to the Claimants was to the effect that the circumstances of the accident was one which arose as a result of a motor vehicle accident arising from a burnout competition, when pure methanol fuel generated by the competitor in the course of the competition, ignited rubber detritus situated in close proximity to the spectator watching the event. As a result, a number of spectators were severely burnt and others suffered psychological injury.

Greg Walsh met with the Claimants in Darwin and accepted instructions on a ‘no win no fee’ basis and also agreed to pay the disbursements of the Claimants. Greg Walsh made the decision not to seek to engage a litigation funder, so as to avoid the Claimants losing up to 60% of any verdict or settlement.

The case was brought against Car Festivals Pty Ltd, Summernats Pty Ltd and Northern Territory Major Events Company Pty Ltd.

Greg Walsh acknowledged that the litigation was extremely hard for and involved enormous effort of not only his part, but that of his staff and with the support of the Claimants. Greg Walsh was of the opinion that the injuries suffered by the Claimants arose not as a result of a motor vehicle accident, but as a result of a breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and in negligence. This meant that the very restrictive conditions of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act (NT) did not apply.

If the Claimants had continued with their claims under MACA, they would have been only entitled to very limited compensation and also real practical difficulties in the nature of medical assessment and treatment. Greg Walsh was able to, for instance, arrange for Associate Professor Haertsch AM to assess the Claimants. Professor Haertsch treated that wonderful Australia, Turia Pitt, in respect of her catastrophic burn injuries. Greg Walsh was also able to have the Claimants examined by an eminent Sydney forensic psychiatrist, namely Dr Peter Klug and this was of considerable assistance to them.

If persons suffer any personal injury, whether it arises from a sporting event, motor vehicle accident, work related accident, bullying, then they should contact Greg Walsh and his team.


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