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Provision of a scooter trailer found to be reasonable and necessary in a work injury case – Claims Agent liable to pay

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Provision of a scooter trailer found to be reasonable and necessary in a work injury case – Claims Agent liable to pay

The Magistrates Court recently found that a WorkCover Claims Agent – Xchanging, was liable for the costs associated with the provision of a scooter trailer in a work injury case.

The Worker, Terry Cooper, had sustained a severe back injury in 1991 after falling from a ladder. He had subsequently undergone a lumbar fusion operation at L4/5 and L5/S1 and had significantly reduced mobility as well as a serious psychological injury, including chronic major depression and panic disorder. He had been off work and in receipt of weekly payments since the injury in 1991.

Mr Cooper had moved to Raymond Island as he had been suicidal and had a support network on the island. Xchanging had agreed to pay for a motorised scooter, a Queen-sized bed, toilet frame, hand rail in shower, hand held shower, computer chair and an extra 1.5 hours of home help a fortnight.

X changing then refused a request to pay for a scooter trailer on the grounds that it was not reasonable in the circumstances; the scooter was of no benefit to him; and it would be unlikely to assist in increasing his ability to function or his work capacity. Mr Cooper argued that he needed the scooter trailer as his support network was no longer on the island and he needed to visit friends elsewhere as he was “going mad” and feeling confined.

The Magistrate said that in determining whether the Claims Agent was liable for the scooter trailer he had to look at “whether the scooter trailer is an aid that is reasonably and necessarily required having regard to the nature and extent of the injuries sustained by Mr Cooper and their impact on his activities of daily living.”

In this case, after considering all the evidence, the Magistrate found that because the scooter trailer would be beneficial for Mr Cooper, in so far as his mobility, independence and ability to socially interact was concerned and further, because it may assist in reducing the impact of his psychiatric injury and it was supported on medical grounds by his treating GP and psychiatrist, the Claims Agent should pay for the scooter trailer.

Decision of:Magistrate S Garnett in Terry Cooper v VWA [2016] VMC024

 

 

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Carrum Downs Plaza -Visit 7th Dec

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Penny will be at the Carrum Downs Plaza providing free personal injury and transport accident advice on the 7th of December,  

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New Mornington Office- Just opened-328 Main Street

Friday, November 04, 2016

In addition to the Carrum Downs office and the Narre Warren visiting office, Peninsula Injury Lawyers has just opened a new office at 328 Main Street Mornington. This new location provides a welcome addition for our clients who are located at the southern end of the Peninsula. The direct phone line for Mornington  is 5924 1007. 

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Court refuses application to have 130 week termination dealt with by Medical Panel

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Mr Klein, a 53 year old truck driver, injured his knee and was on weekly payments of compensation. These payments were terminated by the Claims Agent, Allianz, on the grounds that he had received 130 weeks of weekly payments and that he had a work capacity, among other reasons.  Vocational assessments obtained by Allainz identified generally a number of jobs that might be suitable for Mr Klein including process worker/product assembler and kitchen hand.  

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Employer in breach of duty of care to prevent psychiatric injury

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In a recent decision of the Supreme Court, an employer was found to have breached its duty of care to an employee to prevent a forseeable psychiatric injury to that employee by not putting in place measures to prevent the employee working excessive hours and by telling the employee to keep working after he had worked all night.

The employee was a manager in a rendering plant and had initially agreed to work long hours and to be on call 24 hours a day. However, a few years after commencing in that role, due to maintenance issues and staff reductions, his hours had steadily increased beyond what had originally been contemplated in the contract.

The Court said that the employer had a duty of care as the risk of the employee developing a psychiatric injury was reasonably forseeable to the employer in this case. This was because the employee had complained repeatedly to his superiors about not coping due to the inadequacy of maintenance support, staff shortages and his long hours; his presentation at work had changed from being jovial and happy go lucky to withdrawn; he had collapsed at work and told the work nurse that he had insomnia due to work stress and he had a prolonged absence from work. All of this should have put management on notice that there was a risk that the employee would develop a psychiatric injury because of his work conditions.

For more details see Roussety v Castricum Brothers Pty Ltd [2016] VSC 466 (18 August, Zammit J)

 

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Peninsula Injury lawyers is seeking a Paralegal

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

  

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Narre Warren Office

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Peninsula Injury Lawyers  has just opened a new appointment only office in Narre Warren. 

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Walk For Westernport

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Peninsula Injury Lawyers is a proud sponsor of the Dolphin Research Institute.

Join us on Sunday for the Institute’s Walk for Western Port 2016

Sunday, 1 May - Hastings Foreshore.

All money raised supports DRI's research and education programs.

http://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/support-us/events/

 

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Why its a good idea to get legal advice before Conciliation

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I was recently asked to give a presentation to the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service and be part of a Panel discussing the role of lawyers in the Conciliation process. In my presentation I said that it was my opinion, that the sooner someone gets legal advice about their rights and entitlements, the better, and that in my view, the fact that many workers are now getting legal advice before Conciliation, is a good thing, especially for the workers. Generally speaking, this is because it is always better to get advice while the events surrounding an injury are fresh in the mind and while relevant witnesses can be contacted. The particular benefit of getting legal advice before Conciliation, is that people are simply much better equipped to make important decisions about their claim, after they have had a good long discussion with a lawyer about all of their possible rights and entitlements.  

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Bringing the law to the places you go

Monday, February 15, 2016

  

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