- NOTE: The Press Council has not upheld a complaint about this article. Read the full adjudication here.
A NSW police constable who performed first aid on the victims of a horror high-speed crash on Canberra Avenue says he now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Edward Jausnik has launched legal action for almost $960,000 in compensation from the Office of the Nominal Defendant of the ACT, which covers those injured by an unregistered vehicle without insurance.
Mr Jausnik was the passenger in the police car that attempted to stop Justin "Mully" Williams in Queanbeyan on March 20, 2010.
Mr Jausnik, and partner Constable Michael Hannaford, called off the pursuit shortly before Williams ran a red light and crashed into a car carrying Scott Oppelaar, his partner Samantha Ford, and their three-month-old son, Brody.
The family's vehicle was cut in half by the impact, killing all three instantly.
Williams died in hospital within hours, while his passenger, teenager Skye Webbe, suffered serious injuries.
An inquest into the incident found Williams alone had been at fault for the horror crash.
Coroner Peter Dingwall described the by serial car thief's actions as the "unlawful, reckless and selfish behaviour of a person who placed his desire to evade the police, and his ego, ahead of the lives of other road users".
Mr Jausnik alleges Williams' negligence caused the accident, which would make the Office of the Nominal Defendant of the ACT liable as it exists to compensate those injured by uninsured drivers.
Court papers said Mr Jausnik had suffered psychiatric injury, in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, after providing first aid to the occupants of both vehicles.
He asked to be paid $960,000 in compensation for lost income, arguing past and future economic loss by himself and his wife, who had been forced to quit her job to care for him.
But the Nominal Defendant has denied liability, arguing any injury and loss had been caused by Mr Jausnik's own negligence by not stopping the pursuit and failing to comply with cross-border protocols.
In a bid to hedge against losses, the government authority has also joined Mr Hannaford and the state of NSW as third parties to the claim, on the grounds that if found liable, they should contribute to Mr Jausnik's payout.
In doing so, the Nominal Defendant alleged Mr Hannaford had ignored Mr Jausnik's advice to end the pursuit, and breached cross-border pursuit guidelines.
The office also alleged NSW had not properly trained its officers on when to terminate pursuits and in the use of a new radio system, meaning Mr Hannaford to Mr Jausnik could not establish communication to obtain instructions.
"The plaintiff's injuries and disabilities, for which he now seeks compensation from the defendant, were caused by the first and second third parties' negligence for which the first and second third parties are liable," court documents said.
Mr Hannaford, in his defence, denies Mr Jausnik told him to stop the chase and any injury had been suffered by his own negligence.
NSW also denied the allegations.
The matter has been heard before Associate Justice David Mossop in the ACT Supreme Court this week and will continue on Friday.