WorkCover Division Judgments 2018

Selected judgments handed down in the WorkCover Division of the Magistrates' Court of Victoria during 2018. 

Amcor v Whelan

Magistrate: B.R Wright
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 22 March 2018
Date of Judgment: 27 March 2018
Action No: J10658001
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC003
Number of Pages: 6
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Application for revocation of conciliator officer’s direction – Hearing de novo – “Genuine dispute” – Effect of resolution of dispute at earlier conciliation – Accident Compensation Act 1985 ss 99 - Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 ss 296(2)(d) &(3), 297(9) &(10), 299(2), 313(4).

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Beverley King v Qantas Airways Limited

Magistrate: P Ginnane
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Geelong Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 
Date of Judgment: 30 April 2018
Action No: G12640750
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC006
Number of Pages: 48
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Accident Compensation Act 1985 - Low back injury – Long period of employment with employer – Work required repeated instances of physically demanding work - Whether employment a significant contributing factor to aggravation type injury – Delay between alleged injury and incapacity – Conflict of evidence in plaintiff’s recounting of incident of injury to employer – Lack of corroboration in certain historical accounts produced by doctors - Plaintiff’s credit attacked – Reliance on surveillance – Application to draw Jones v Dunkel (1959) CLR inference – No adverse inference drawn – No current work capacity – Discourse as to burden of proof for no current capacity – Notice of rejection set aside.

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Durea v T.O.P Welding

Magistrate: S Garnett
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 21, 22 & 23 May 2018
Date of Judgment: 18 June 2018
Action No: H11505461
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC008
Number of Pages: 29
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Pulmonary fibrosis – Alleged exposure to metal dust, welding fumes and chemical fumes throughout course of employment between 1983-4 and 1990-2012 - Pigeon fancier from 8 years of age – ‘Bird Fanciers Lung’ - Whether employment is a significant contributing factor – Conflicting lay evidence - Denial of liability in respect to claim for weekly payments and medical treatment expenses and an Impairment Claim.

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Janice Coates v State of Victoria

Magistrate: S Garnett
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: La Trobe Valley Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 23 - 25 May & 8 - 9 October 2018
Date of Judgment: 24 October 2018
Action No: G11341230
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC010
Number of Pages: 34
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Rejection of claim: Psychiatric Injury – Plaintiff employed as a teacher at Sale College from 2008 to 2015 – Assertion that she was subjected to stress, pressure, abuse, criticism, harassment, bullying and a lack of appropriate consultation regarding class allocations - Defence: injury did not arise out of or in the course of her employment at Sale College – Employment between 2008-2015 was not a significant contributing factor to any recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of a pre-existing injury – If an injury was sustained it was caused wholly or predominantly by management action taken on reasonable grounds and in a reasonable manner: S 40 Workplace Injury Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 2013.

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Rawlings v ANZ Bank

Magistrate: B R Wright
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 12 – 16 February 2018
Date of Judgment: 2 May 2018
Action No: C12452009
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC005
Number of Pages: 101
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Rejection of claim – Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome – Diagnosis/causation - Two influenza vaccinations at work – Whether employment a significant contributing factor to a disease contracted in the course of employment or to the recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of a pre-existing injury or disease – Accident Compensation Act ss.5, 82(2C)

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Samoiloff v Grandiflora Nurseries Pty Ltd

Magistrate: P Ginnane
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 16 & 17 April 2018
Date of Judgment: 20 April 2018
Action No: G11612269
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC004
Number of Pages: 17
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 – Rejected claims - Aggravation type injury - Acute disc prolapse at home following day’s work - No prior work episodes – Previous surgical intervention – Whether prolapse caused by constitutional condition – Whether work a significant contributing factor to injury – Long period of employment – Largely manual work – Ongoing episodes of lifting – Discussion of sufficiency of evidence – Uncertain evidence of weights - Medical reports tendered – Whether plaintiff positively discharged burden of proof – Unsatisfactory history in medical reports – Lack of factual analysis of work duties to prolapse - Applications for review dismissed

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Severino v Tsaousidis

Magistrate: S Garnett
Court: Magistrates' Court 
Division: WorkCover Division 
Place of Hearing: Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court
Date of Hearing: 29 & 30 January; 1 February 2018
Date of Judgment: 26 February 2018
Action No: G10651924
Medium Neutral Citation: [2018] VMC002
Number of Pages: 14
Copyright: Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 2018  

Reasons for Decision

Catchwords: Whether plaintiff a ‘worker’ pursuant to s 3 of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 – Credibility of witnesses in issue.

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