Stab Magazine | Ross Clarke-Jones To Sue Australian Reality TV Program
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Ross Clarke-Jones To Sue Australian Reality TV Program

After breaking his ankle on Survivor, the Oz big wave surfer seeks some financial compensation. 

news // May 31, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Google Alerts is a quirky little digital assistant. You can almost guarantee anyone involved in ‘surf news’ is signed up to a Google Alerts system which emails over a list of articles containing a handful of keywords: ‘surf’, ‘surfer’, or maybe ‘waves’, whatever you choose.  

When I first started writing for Stab, Rick Snowden showed me the morsels of gold you occasionally find via this lazy attempt at journalism. A lot of the time you’re getting hit with “dangerous surf warnings”, “surface oncology reports” and the odd “silver surfer film update”, but occasionally you’ll luck into one of those stories that land in that strange cross-section where the mainstream meets surf media. 

Last year, Ross Clarke-Jones was on Australian Survivor where he was forced to retire from the competition/show after breaking his ankle. Now, as reported by The Herald Sun and a host of other tabloid news sources, Ross is suing the company which produces the show, Endemol Australia. 

The Herald Sun article is paywalled (News Corp don’t deserve your money either), but some thoughtful individual copy and pasted the article on Reddit for us to read. 

According to the article, Ross and his lawyer’s, from Arnold Thomas & Becker, are suing Endemol for money lost from sponsorship, competition, potential earnings from winning Survivor Australia, and damages such as depression and anxiety. As the accident was no fault of Ross’s actions, he’s suing Endemol on the basis of “negligence and/or breach of duty”.

“At the date of the injury, the plaintiff was a professional big-wave surfer with sponsorship arrangements, including with Red Bull and Quiksilver,” the legal document states, according to the Herald Sun. 

“The plaintiff is and has been since his injury totally incapacitated for his previous employment and claims past loss of earnings and future loss of earnings. The plaintiff also claims loss of opportunity in relation to competing for the prize money available on Survivor, and other professional big- wave surfing related events, awards and business opportunities.”

As you can watch here, Ross breaks his leg as a rope snaps as he swings between two platforms. The resulting injury, a broken ankle, kept Ross out of the water for months.

The documents have been filed into the Supreme Court in Victoria, but you can imagine it’ll be some time before these proceedings go to trial, unless of course Endemol and Ross reach a behind-the-scenes deal.

Stab has reached out for comment, but it’s probably not in either party’s interests to comment on an ongoing legal matter.  

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