Prison breach not cause of 'violent and irrational' attack
AN ATTACKED prison guard has had the door slammed on his bid to sue the state for almost $700,000.
And a judge said even though a "breach of duty” happened at Maryborough prison, that breach was not to blame for the attack.
Prison officer Phillip Eastment and a colleague were bashed at the jail in 2009.
Their adversary was described in court records as a big, very strong potty-mouthed prisoner.
Only the intervention of several other prison staff stopped the onslaught.
Mr Eastment claimed the inmate, known in court papers as Prisoner X or PX, was waiting to ambush an officer that day.
The guard claimed $675,000 damages, alleging the jail was negligent and in breach of his employment contract.
Judge Nicole Kefford of Brisbane District Court dismissed the lawsuit last year.
But then Mr Eastment took his case to Queensland Court of Appeal.
Mr Eastment said staff who knew about an ominous court outburst before the attack should have told a prison unit supervisor.
Another corrections employee, Officer Linnenlucke, wrote in 2012 that PX called her a "lying c---” at a committal hearing two days before the bashing.
But a recording of the hearing contained no audio of PX yelling or making threats.
In a judgment delivered on Friday afternoon, Justice Philip Morrison said the appeal had no merit.
"PX might have been agitated at the committal ... he was not later when he was returned to the prison,” Justice Morrison wrote.
Justice Philip McMurdo agreed the appeal should be dismissed - but said a breach of duty was proved.
He said the breach happened when a prison intelligence officer failed to pass on information from Officer Linnenlucke about PX's volatile behaviour.
But that did not mean the breach was to blame for Mr Eastment's unfortunate experience.
Justice McMurdo was not convinced even a heightened state of alert would have prevented the "violent and irrational” prisoner behaving as he did.
Justice Anthe Philippides also said the appeal should be dismissed, with costs. -NewsRegional