Vister Pray
Vister Pray

Worker sues after nightmare forklift injury

A father-of-three, who has lived with constant pain since his right foot was crushed and degloved in a Brisbane work accident two years ago, is suing his former employer for almost $850,000.

Vister Pray, 32, had to have two toes amputated and he will have to have surgery on his foot, which had the top layer of skin ripped off when a forklift reversed into him in 2018.

Mr Pray was working casually for T & D Trading's Sumner warehouse, pushing a pallet jack towards stock shelves, when the forklift hit his right foot, his Supreme Court claim said.

Mr Pray said in a statement for WorkCover that the reversing forklift first hit the back of his leg and his right foot was pulled under and bent right back.

He said the forklift then drove forward and when his trapped foot was bent back the other way, the skin on his foot was pulled off.

"I looked down and I could see the bone,'' he said.

Vister Pray, 32, is suing for more than $800,000 after his foot was degloved in a horror workplace accident. Picture: Liam Kidston
Vister Pray, 32, is suing for more than $800,000 after his foot was degloved in a horror workplace accident. Picture: Liam Kidston

Two of his toes had to be amputated and the skin on top of his foot was removed and a skin graft from his upper right leg was put on his foot.

Mr Pray also has suffered an adjustment disorder with depression and anxiety, his claim, filed by law firm Maurice Blackburn on December 17, says.

Mr Pray said he struggled to stay on his feet after he returned to work on light duties and has since had other casual jobs, but has found it difficult.

"I always have pain in my foot, '' Mr Pray said.

"I can't walk for more than three hours and if I work for a whole day I go home in a lot of pain.''

Mr Pray, who has daughters aged 11 and four and a son, eight, can no longer do the sports he loved, including soccer or boxing, or go camping and climbing with his children.

He says he never wears thongs or sandals when he is in public with his children, because he is self-conscious about the scarring on his foot.

His wife, Eh Thi Paw Maw, said her husband, whom she first met as a child when both were in a Thai refugee camp, had been an active man with a positive outlook before the accident.

"Vister's accident has been life changing and really hard for us as a family,'' she said.

The claim alleges the company was negligent for failing to have safe systems for operation of the forklift, which did not make any warning sound when reversing.

It is also claimed the pedestrian area should have been separated from the traffic flow area and there was inadequate employee training.

Mr Pray is seeking $849,510 in damages. T&D Trading is yet to respond to the claim.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Sophie McKenzie said it was a key responsibility of employers to provide their workers with appropriate safety training and safe work processes.

"It is well known that forklifts are a top cause of injuries and even deaths in the warehouse settings,'' Ms McKenzie said.

She said the law firm saw a large number of workers, many of whom were from vulnerable backgrounds, with completely avoidable warehouse-related injuries.

Originally published as Worker sues after nightmare forklift injury

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