Warrnambool man suing Mininera League

REGION - A Warrnambool man who was punched from behind and then had his leg broken while he lay unconscious at a football match is suing the Mininera and District Football League for damages.

Michael Keilar was attending the grand final of the Mininera and District Football League in September 2011 when a brawl broke out among a group of spectators.

Concerned for the welfare of his two young children, Mr Keilar had gone looking for them when he was hit from behind and his right leg was stomped upon.

Later when Mr Keilar was taken to the East Grampians Health Service he was diagnosed with two fractures to his right leg.

The father of two was hospitalised and as a result of the serious nature of his injuries was laid off work for six months while he recovered. Mr Keilar worked at a local seed cleaning plant.

Police investigating the brawl at the time were unable to track down the people involved in the attack and have since called off their investigation. They were however critical of the Mininera League for the apparent lack of controls over the serving of alcohol, which was believed to be a factor in the violence that broke out.

Mr Keilar is suing the league for loss of earnings and for pain and suffering damages.

Creon Coolahan from law firm Stringer Clark said that his client had been a former player in the league and had taken his wife and young children to enjoy the game. He said that his client had become concerned for the safety of his children once the violence had erupted.

He said that he had been hit from behind while simply trying to protect his children from harm.

"It was a disgraceful scene, and one that reflected poorly on the game's organisers at the time and that continues to have far reaching consequences for my client," Mr Coolahan said.

"You should be able to attend a game of footy with your family and not wind up in hospital as a result of some drunken mob attacking you

"The league had a duty of care towards spectators that they failed to honour and my client was left to pick up the pieces."

Mininera and District Football League president Ruth Brain declined to comment on the issue when contacted by The Ararat Advertiser due to the matter being before the courts.

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