INXS’ Tim Farriss Loses Court Battle Over Severed Finger – Billboard


Tim Farriss, founding guitarist with new wave icons INXS, is considering his next move after losing a legal battle against the owners and operators of a vessel on which he lost a finger.

Farriss launched proceedings after the ring finger on his left hand was severed in a gruesome boating accident in Sydney’s Akuna Bay back in January 2015, when it was caught in a chain as he attempted to drop anchor.

The rocker was treated at the Royal North Shore hospital for a week, and required several surgeries to reattach the digit.


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The damage, however, is permanent. Seven years on, the finger is essentially “useless,” and he’s now in “forced retirement,” his reps told the NSW Supreme Court. It’s “in a state now where he cannot play guitar,” Farriss’s barrister Adrian Williams told the court, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The artist and his company Montana Productions sued two owners of the Omega Clipper and a boat charter company for negligence over the incident.

Farriss’s legal team had claimed he received insufficient instructions on the operation of the anchor and related machinery; that it should have been better maintained; and risks ought to have been better highlighted, according to court reports.

All told, Farriss sought damages that totaling A$622,000 ($434,000).

During a six-day hearing in August and September, the court had heard that the onboard anchor could be activated by foot with a button.

Farriss had denied pressing the button, though Justice Cavanagh sided with the defendants, writing that the “obvious explanation” for what happened was that he had stepped on the button while he was holding the chain.

“In circumstances in which the plaintiff bears the onus of establishing breach and causation, uncertainty as to what actually happened does not assist the plaintiff,” Cavanagh wrote in his judgment.

Farriss has been ordered to pay the defendants’ costs, but remains upbeat despite the result.

“Irrespective of the outcome today, I undertook this matter to bring awareness to a very dangerous situation and to ensure other families do not have to endure or witness such a devastating accident,” Farriss says in a statement, seen by Billboard. “Needless to say I am very disappointed with the judgment and am looking at my options.”

Originally formed in 1977 in Perth, Australia, and led by the late singer Michael Hutchence, INXS’ body of work has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and included six U.K. top 10 albums (Welcome To Wherever You Are went to No. 1 in 1992) and five U.S. top 20 albums.

At the height of their fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the group was often in the conversation on the “biggest band on the planet.” Their superstar status was confirmed in 2001 with induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, four years after Hutchence passed.

The band pushed on with a rotating cast of frontmen, before calling time on touring in 2012. INXS’s career retrospective INXS – The Very Best snared a piece of chart history last year in Australia, where it’s certified “diamond,” for shifting more than 500,000 combined units.

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