Rebels member sues council over speed hump
From: Sunday Mail (SA)
November 07, 2010
ONE of South Australia's most notorious bikies is suing a suburban council for negligence after falling off his motorcycle while riding over a speed hump.
Rebels member Christopher Paul Clemente, 32, wants unspecified damages from Charles Sturt Council for injuries he alleges he sustained in the incident at Woodville South in northwest Adelaide.
But the council is fighting the District Court claim, alleging instead that any residual injuries Clemente is suffering stem from gunshot wounds he suffered in 2002 or a previous car accident, not from the motorcycle accident.
has a lengthy history of firearms offences
and recently started a chapter of the Rebels
in Mildura, has been injured in two
gang-related shootings in Adelaide over the
past eight years.
In the first, in 2002, he was shot three times after he and two associates went to a Fulham Gardens house and confronted a rival.
About 20 shots were fired in the ensuing gun battle.
In the second incident, in 2007, Clemente suffered minor gunshot wounds in the infamous Tonic nightclub shootout. Three other Rebels members were also shot.
statement of claim, Clemente says he was
riding a Yamaha motorcycle along Oval Ave,
Woodville South, about 9.30pm on November 6,
2003, when he then made a right hand turn
into Fife St.
The claim then alleges Clemente lost control of his motorcycle when it struck a road hump in Fife St, causing him to fall to the roadway and the motorcycle to collide with a parked van.
It says he
lost consciousness and suffered an injury to
his left shoulder, musculo-ligamentous
injuries to his spine and psychological
Resulting disabilities include pain, discomfort and restricted movement to his left shoulder, neck and lower back pain and restriction and depression and anxiety.
The claim alleges Charles Sturt owed Clemente a duty of care as a user of the road, failed to ensure there were clear line markings or reflectors on the speed hump, permitted it to be steeper than normal, placed it too far from the intersection and failed to erect a sign on Oval Ave warning there was a hump in Fife St.
The claim says he is "precluded from manual or labouring type work" and he is seeking damages for pain and suffering, past and future assistance, past and future economic loss and past and future special damages and for home equipment and paid domestic assistance.
In its defence, Charles Sturt says the hump did not cause any hazard to road users exercising due care, that it complied with relevant standards, that there was a warning sign 3.25m before the hump and it had "not received any reports of any deficiency in the road hump or any vehicle accident at the site in the 16 years since construction to the time of the plaintiff's fall".
It also states Clemente was negligent because he failed to comply with the conditions of his provisional licence by riding a 1000cc motorcycle when he was only licensed to ride a 250cc motorcycle, he failed to keep a lookout and travelled at excessive speed.
"... the defendant says that any residual disability suffered by the plaintiff is as a result of a pre-existing injury or disability suffered by the plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident in 2001 and/or as a result of gunshot wounds sustained in 2002, and not the incident the subject of this action," the claim states.
The matter, which was adjourned by Master Rice for settlement negotiations last month, will return to the District Court in February next year.