Supreme Court Queen's Square
Supreme Court Queen's Square

Man who lost arm in beer keg explosion suing club for $2m

A NSW barman whose arm was blown off in a beer keg explosion is seeking more than $2 million in compensation, including money to pay for a series of hi-tech surgeries for a prosthetic arm, a court has heard.

Jye Parker was helping set up and test a portable beer keg system at his former workplace in Newcastle in October 2014 when the explosion occurred.

 

Jye Parker is suing over a horror beer keg explosion that severed his arm. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Jye Parker is suing over a horror beer keg explosion that severed his arm. Picture: Jeremy Piper

The system had not been fitted with a gas regulator, causing the keg to be over-filled with carbon dioxide when Mr Parker tested the system.

The then-23-year-old had all but 6.5cm of his left arm amputated but has done "comparatively well" in the years since, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Campbell said on Monday.

Newcastle's Bar Beach Bowling Club admits it owed a duty of care, but denies it is legally responsible for Mr Parker's injury.

It argues he was very experienced in setting up such keg systems and his own negligence in activating the gas bottle without first fitting a regulator caused the accident.

 

Jye Parker on the night of the accident. Picture: Justin Sanson and Peter Lorimer
Jye Parker on the night of the accident. Picture: Justin Sanson and Peter Lorimer

Mr Parker was employed at other licensed premises at the time but, having remained friendly with staff at Bar Beach, was sometimes asked to assist in various ways from time to time, the court has heard.

His lawyers argue he was a volunteer and acting in good faith at the time.

A seven-day hearing to settle the dispute was due to start on Monday, but the need for new medical assessments led to a lengthy postponement.

Mr Parker is claiming domestic care costs and the cost of proposed three-stage surgery to replace his arm with a hi-tech prosthesis.

The court heard he was a candidate for targeted muscle reinnervation, which aims to improve the control of prosthetics by using residual nerves to drive the artificial device.]

 

A young Mr Parker before the accident. Picture: Facebook
A young Mr Parker before the accident. Picture: Facebook

Two further surgeries, including to lengthen Mr Parker's severed humerus bone with titanium could follow.

The medical bill is expected to be more than $250,000, the court heard.

The matter is due to return to court in August ahead of a hearing set down for September.

Mr Parker's claim against Carlton and United Breweries, the keg supplier, was settled in 2019 with the beer giant paying an undisclosed sum for costs.

Originally published as Man who lost arm in beer keg explosion suing club for $2m


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