Oz: A$100K for prisoner who fell out of bed

“A prisoner who injured himself in a fall from his bunk bed has won more than $100,000 compensation from taxpayers. Craig Ballard, jailed for a vicious assault on a woman, successfully sued the State of NSW after he fell out of the bunk in his cell at Grafton Correctional Centre.” (Tony Wall, “Ex-prisoner awarded six-figure sum”, Daily Telegraph (Aust.), Sept. 1; Melbourne Age, Sept. 1; “Payout to prisoner who fell from bed ‘ludicrous'”, Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 1). “The Opposition leader, John Brogden, said it was ludicrous the payout to Mr Ballard was double the amount available to a victim of crime.” A new liability statute will make it harder for prisoners to file similar actions, but Ballard’s claim was resolved under the earlier law (“Prisoner who fell from bunk could have got more: minister”, Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 2; “Prisoner who fell from bunk could have got more: minister”, The Australian, Sept. 2; Tony Wall, “Word is out: sue the prison”, Daily Telegraph, Sept. 2).

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