Woman launches legal action against council over swooping bird attack
A Vermont woman is sure to ruffle feathers after launching legal action over
a swooping bird. Eliana Deur-Davidson, 41, said she was was carrying her three-year-old niece through the Box Hill South Kindergarten carpark when a grey bird took aim at her head. As she bobbed for cover, the musician said she lost balance.
"I ducked to the left and it went pearshaped from there," Ms Deur-Davidson
told the Herald Sun. "I screamed." Fearing her young niece would smash her head on the concrete, Ms Deur- Davidson said she went "into survival mode", twisting her body to try to save the girl from injury. She said she landed heavily on her knee. Ms Deur-Davidson is now suing the City of Whitehorse after allegedly injuring her back in the fall in November, 2011. She told the Herald Sun she had endured a traumatic two-and-a-half years, been sent to hospital three times, had two spinal injections and had to quit the job she loved as a youth worker.
Just last week she underwent a spinal operation. She says she walks with a limp and cannot sit for more than 15 to 20 minutes. "I'm not the sort of person to be bitter," Ms Deur-Davidson said. "I just feel like an injury has been sustained. I have to watch myself for the rest of my life. "This injury could have been prevented. I just think they needed to take a little more care."
In court documents lodged in the County Court last week, lawyers acting for Ms Deur-Davidson claim there had been complaints about swooping birds at the Box Hill South Kindergarten carpark before her fall. The statement of claim alleges that the swooping birds were a nuisance and the City of Whitehorse was obliged to "take all reasonable measures to abate the nuisance and/or the risk or
It is alleged in the documents that the municipality did not do enough to ensure that Ms Deur-Davidson was not injured by the birds. The City of Whitehorse, the documents allege, breached its duty of care and failed to move the birds, install devices to scare them away, erect breeding boxes away from the carpark to attract the birds or warn users of the dangers. Ms Deur-Davidson, a qualified youth worker, is seeking damages, claiming she was forced to resign due to "persisting spinal pain and disability". She claims in the court documents that she is suffering lower back pain, tenderness and limitation of movement, disc prolapse, referred pain in the left leg and foot and psychological injury. City of Whitehorse general manager of corporate services Peter Smith said it was a legal matter and the municipality was unable to comment. The writ was served last Tuesday.
Nowicki Carbone partner Nunzio Tartaglia said young children, parents and teachers used the kindergarten carpark and the City of Whitehorse had to ensure their safety was protected. He said Ms Deur-Davidson had suffered life-changing injuries.