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Lawsuit Over On-Track Racing Accident

Published: September 6, 2016 1:20 pm ET

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A worker’s compensation regulator is in the process of trying to sue a horse racing participant for seven figures, it has been reported. The regulator is claiming that the participant in question was the cause of significant injuries to another racing participant during an on-track accident that occurred six years ago.

According to an article by the Herald Sun, a Down Under worker’s compensation regulator by the name of WorkCover has launched its lawsuit against jockey Mark Zahra. WorkCover has alleged that Zahra’s 'negligent' actions during an August 21, 2010 race at Mooney Valley Racecourse led to fellow rider Daniel Brereton being dismounted from his charge and suffering a litany of serious injuries.

The Herald Sun piece states that WorkCover has filed suit against Zahra, who is a leading jock Down Under, in order to recoup the $1.4 million it has paid out to Brereton thus far and all costs for Brereton in the future. Zahra had pleaded guilty to careless riding charges after the incident – those charges were brought forth by race stewards.

WorkCover has taken the position that Zahra was the initial cause of interference that caused a chain reaction that resulted in Brereton being dismounted and injured. The article lists Brereton’s injuries as being a torn aorta, a fractured neck, six broken vertebrae, fractured teeth, facial injuries, a fractured clavicle (collar bone), serious internal head injuries, and partial paraplegia, which affected his bowels, bladder and sexual function. Brereton has also suffered serious impaired mobility from the accident, a hearing disturbance in one ear and psychological issues.

“Incidents like this make it just so clear how important it is to have, for all members in this profession, to have (Racing Australia’s public liability insurance) policy in place,” Victorian Jockey’s Association CEO Des O’Keeffe has been quoted as saying.

(With files from the Herald Sun)

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