Mr Y was a theatre nurse working at one of Sydney’s major hospitals. During the course of his work he was adjusting a theatre bed which was broken and in the course of adjusting the bed, he sustained injury to his knees as well as his back.
At 1st instance the workers compensation insurer was happy to accept liability and had met a substantial amount of Mr Y’s medical treatment expenses. Even their own independent medico-legal opinions supported Mr Y’s injuries and as such he received continuously for a period of approximately 2 years his weekly benefits.
Following the amendments to the workers compensation legislation, medical opinions from the same doctors were that Mr Y’s injury had resolved and any continuing complaint that he had were not a consequence of the accident. This is despite there being no changes in Mr Y’s complaint to his general practitioner’s.
This is a very common yet unfair means of removing an injured worker from the workers compensation safety nets which was initially set up.
According to the new legislation, legal practitioners must requests from WorkCover Independent Review Office (W I RO) for approval for payment of legal services. Upon this occasion, approval was denied on the basis that the notice that the insurer had provided Mr Y amounted to a work capacity certificate which meant that Mr Y was transition of the workers compensation system.
The matter progressed to arbitration at the workers compensation commission. Upon long arguments as to the merits of the matter, Mr Y was successful and was awarded weekly benefits which go back in excess of 2 years as well is an award for reasonably incurred medical treatment expenses.
Not only that, because the initial application to resolve the dispute was filed within time before the changes took effect legal costs were awarded in his favour.
Mr Y who had legal representation from another firm stated that what set to ride Malouf partners apart was our professionalism and our team nested in to see his case through to the end.