Tourism boss and insurer facing huge lawsuit over crash
A FAR North tourism boss and her insurer are facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit after she allegedly rear-ended a motorbike rider at roadworks, leaving him with serious injuries.
Tara Bennett, who works as executive director for Tourism Port Douglas, was allegedly behind the wheel of a Suzuki Vitara heading south on Davidson St in September 2017 when her vehicle collided with the back of a Harley-Davidson bike, which had slowed for an amber light at road works.
The bike's rider, Redlynch man Glenn Bauer, 49, suffered spinal injuries in the crash.
According to documents filed in the Cairns Supreme Court, Mr Bauer had been working as a relief harbour master at the time, earning around $200,000 per year.
He has launched legal action against Ms Bennett and her insurer Allianz for just over $3.5 million, claiming his injuries were due to her negligence and have forced him to quit his high-paying job and left him "commercially unemployable".
Mr Bauer was working in Port Hedland, WA at the time, and training to become a full-time Harbour Tug Master with a potential to earn $4000 per week. He is now living in Cairns.
"This accident has destroyed my life and my chosen career which I spent a small fortune building up to get to where I was," he said, speaking outside court. "Prior to the accident I was really outgoing, I particularly loved scuba diving, riding my motorbike, mountain biking and walking, but that has all changed now, that life is gone, taken away from me in a split second."
According to his claim, Mr Bauer said he can no longer sit for long periods, can only walk short distances before the pain becomes too much and needs heavy painkillers daily.
Maurice Blackburn principal Tanya Straguszi, whose firm is representing Mr Bauer, said the incident should be a "stark reminder" for drivers to take care at roadworks as motorcyclists were vulnerable road users.
Ms Bennett's legal representatives did not wish to comment on the matter and are yet to file documents in court.
A court date is yet to be set.
It is unknown whether Ms Bennett was charged over the incident.
Originally published as FNQ tourism boss, insurer facing huge lawsuit over crash