Country grocery store found liable in negligence in lifting accident.
Published 16 May 2019
Our client was an employee working at a grocery store in Country Eastern New South Wales, in the deli section of the store when she injured herself whilst lifting a large piece of ham from the refrigerated section of the store during and in the course of her employment. As she was lifting a large piece of ham above shoulder height and that she was quite short in statute, she suffered an injury to her neck, right arm and right shoulder.
The injury was reported to her supervisor and she was unable to complete her shift. She was referred to her family doctor and referred to have x-rays and a cortisone injection into her neck and her right shoulder. She was referred to a pain management specialist who undertook numerous nerve block injections into her neck and right shoulder. Over a period of time, this did not assist with her symptoms. She suffered an impingement to her right shoulder and had a disc injury to her neck which was causing her significant headaches. She was on large amounts of medication to assist with her pain relief.
The insurer accepted liability and paid her weekly payments for her incapacity to work and her treatment expenses from her treating doctors and specialists. She was hospitalised for various periods of time in relation to her nerve blocks to assist with providing her with pain relief concerning her ongoing symptoms with her right shoulder and her neck. Her right shoulder and right arm symptoms deteriorated to such an extent that she developed a frozen right shoulder and the specialist were unable to operate on her condition. She was not able to return to work because of her condition and there were no suitable duties available to her having regard to her limitations with her neck, right arm and right shoulder.
She attended to be medically examined and assessed by the doctors for the insurer who confirmed that she had no working capacity and that the injuries and continuing disabilities that she was complaining off were as a result of her employment and work with a substantial contributing factor to her condition. It was determined that in addition to suffering symptoms with her neck, right arm and right shoulder, she developed complex regional pain syndrome, psychological injury and a sleep disorder condition as a result of her being unable to sleep arising from her pain and suffering and disabilities.
She was severely incapacitated by her injury and had no prospects of returning to work and this was accepted by the insurer. She had no prospects of returning to her pre-injury employment duties or the disability services work as she was also undertaking a number of jobs at the time of the accident. It was determined by all doctors that her ability to lead a normal life had been severely affected as a consequence of the injury. She also required domestic assistance for heavy household maintenance and cleaning activities. She was left with significant permanent impairment to the neck, right arm and right shoulder as well as a sleep disorder condition arising from her work injury.
She received her lump sum entitlements for permanent impairment and pain and suffering. After our client received her lump sum claim for permanent impairment and pain and suffering she pursued a work injury damages negligence claim against her employer to claim her full loss of wages for the past and future and loss of superannuation as a result of her injury and due to the negligence of the employer.
It was alleged that the employer failed to provide a safe system of work, failed to provide assistance to our client, failed to provide a step in the deli section and exposed her to a risk of injury which could have been avoided by reasonable care on its part. The matter proceeded to a work injury damages mediation hearing to quantify our clients past and future loss of wages and past and future loss of superannuation from the date of her injury up until the date of her retirement as a result of her injury which she suffered in the cause of her employment for her employer.
After a number of hours of negotiations and canvasing the liability and the medical issues and our client’s wages loss and her claim for loss of superannuation, the employer was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages in compensation for her full loss of wages (past and future) and her loss of superannuation from the date of her injury up until the date of her retirement as a result of its negligence in causing her injuries from the work accident. Our client was very happy with the outcome of the work injury damages negligence claim and the substantial award made in her favour, by way of compensation, for her full loss of wages and loss of superannuation as a result of her work injury.
If you suffer an injury during and in the course of your employment for your employer in addition to being entitled to a claim lump sum compensation for permanent impairment and pain and suffering, you may also be entitled to pursue a work injury damages negligence claim as a result of the negligence of your employer in causing your injury, losses and damages.
It is essential that you be able to establish negligence against the employer and to be certified at over 15% whole person impairment to be entitled to pursue a work injury damages negligence claim against the employer in failing to provide a safe system of work.
In this case, our client suffered an injury during and in the course of her employment with her employer. In addition to receiving her lump sum compensation entitlements, due to the significant nature of her disability she was also able to pursue a work injury damages negligence claim against her employer to claim her full loss of wages (past and future) as well as her loss of superannuation from the date of injury up until her date of retirement as a result of being able to establish negligence against her employee in causing her injury.
Despite the employer denying liability in negligence for the work injury damages negligence claim, the employer was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in compensation by way of damages for her full loss of wages and loss of superannuation as a result of her injuries and disabilities suffered during and in the course of her employment for her employer. Our client was well pleased with the outcome and resolution of the claim in that she did suffer from significant impairment arising from her injuries suffered during and in the course of her employment for her employer.
For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll-free number on 1300768780 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect your legal rights arising from your accident.