Over half a million dollars in compensation for injured rural produce worker

Published 14 Dec 2016

Time and time again our law firm receives enquiries from rural workers who have sustained serious and incapacitating injuries whilst working in produce. 

We believe that there are a number of reasons why this happens.

Rural workers and farm workers generally are involved in heavy manual type of work.  Such intensive work can be a contributing factor.  Another reason is a lot of the machinery that farmers use are generally old and out-dated and pose as real danger risk.

Further to the above, the system of work is generally flawed. In many employment situations, there is a structured system of work to ensure the safety of workers including factories, warehouses, hospitals, offices and other similar employment situations.  On the other hand though, work systems on farms and rural produce sections are at a lot of times ad hoc and improvised systems.  This can be dangerous to workers, as it fails to follow a structured system.

In the situation for our rural worker, the system here was an improvised one in order to suit the situation and in this instance to suit the weather.  Without the use of machinery and assistance from others, our client was required to pull a huge weighty tarp over produce in order to keep the produce dry.  Resulting from this, he sustained a very serious back injury.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we realised immediately that this system was flawed and after finalising a lump sum claim for his impairment, we were also able to commence and finalise a common law negligent claim.  The compensation outcome for these combined entitlements was close to $550,000.00 in tax free benefit.

With an expert panel at our law firm we can easily obtain evidence that a work system is flawed.  This always places us in a better position in achieving a successful result for our clients’ damages (compensation). 

Through the process we go through the tedious task of gathering the necessary evidence to establish an injury and the level of incapacity that the injury has caused. Finally establish an arguable case that injury and incapacity resulted from the employers’ negligence.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we understand the importance of hard work. We also understand that employers’ expect their workers’ to put in the hard work. However, we do not understand why safe work systems are compromised which then place workers at risk of injury. If injury is caused, the worker has every right to be compensated.