Workers Compensation Claimant Vindicated

On 12 October 2019 Ms J sustained a serious injury to her back whilst working on the production line, manufacturing paper cups under extreme time pressures.

Ms J was off work for a period of time and underwent rehabilitation treatment.

On 2 March 2020 whilst undergoing hydrotherapy treatment for her injury, Ms J sustained a further injury to her neck. When she attempted to report it to her employer she was brushed aside and told that the neck injury was not covered under workers compensation because it didn’t occur during her employment or on work premises.

Ms J was a single mother of three and was doing it tough, especially since two of her children suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It did not help when her employer allocated her impractical work hours for her graduated return to work program from 1.00am to 5.00am, in the hope that she would just give up. Ms J did not give in and instead, decided to see Parramatta City Legal.

Upon receiving her instructions about the mistreatment at the hands of her employer, Parramatta City Legal immediately referred the matter to the appropriate authorities for  prosecution on the basis that she had been given misleading information about her entitlements and had her claim prejudiced.

Remarkably, the insurer maintained its denial of liability regarding the neck injury. Parramatta City Legal set about gathering a mountain of corroborative evidence and supportive Court of Appeal decisions in support of Ms J’s claim. Witness statements were tendered, clinical notes from treating doctors were obtained and subpoenas issued to the rehabilitation providers to support the allegation of injury.

When confronted with all the evidence and case law at the Arbitration hearing, the insurer caved in. The matter was referred to an independent doctor and we subsequently obtained a significant lump sum award for our client for the permanent impairment of her neck and back.

The result that we achieved at the Arbitration opened the door to a further claim for damages against the employer for all Ms J’s past and future loss of earnings.