Widow awarded $2.3m after hotel car park death

Judge says hotel and city authorities in Sydney negligent

Travel, Crash

A woman who witnessed her husband die after driving his car off the second storey of a hotel-owned car park has been awarded more than US $2 million in damages.

According to The West Australian, Michelle and Thomas Lee were going out to dinner when the incident occurred at a car park owned by the Carlton Crest Hotel.

However, as Thomas Lee reversed he hit a barrier which disintegrated, leading to the car falling off the edge.

The judge in the case, Justice Robert Beech-Jones, said the hotel was negligent because a wheel stop in the parking space was not properly affixed to the floor, meaning it "did not provide the tactile resistance that Mr Lee was expecting" when he reversed into the parking space.

He also said the perimeter railing was "grossly inadequate" and found that the City of Sydney, which inspected and certified the building, had been negligent.

He therefore awarded the widow just over AUS$2.6 million (US $2.3 million) in damages, with 75% to be paid by the car park operator and the rest by the City of Sydney.

She had sued for “nervous shock” following the accident, with the court hearing that she had been seriously affected psychologically.

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