One of Victoria’s Highest Recorded Workers’ Compensation Damages Awards

The final damages awarded of over $1,950,000 including an award of $450,000 for pain and suffering damages and just over $1,500,000 for loss of earnings.

Fosterville Gold Mine
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We are very excited and pleased to advise of a near $2M damages Supreme Court judgment obtained by Shaun Marcus, Partner of Arnold Dallas McPherson.  The judgment was delivered on Friday, 4 November 2022,  by Justice Moore (in relation to the damages trial that ran before the Justice for a bit over a week in December 2021).

It really is an incredible result that we believe to be one of the highest recorded worker’s compensation damages awards in Victoria

The Plaintiff was employed as a ‘nipper’ at the Fosterville Gold Mine near Bendigo and was injured in March 2018 when he was struck by a large rotating bolt attached to a boom machine known as a Jumbo.

The Plaintiff was 25 at the date of injury and is now still only 30.The incident caused the Plaintiff to develop and suffer complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (‘CRPS’) along with a mental condition.

Liability was admitted, but the case was contested on a number of grounds, namely:

  1. The nature of the claimed/alleged injuries;
  2. The proper assessment of damages and;
  3. Whether there should be any contributory negligence applied.

The issue of contributory negligence argument was rejected by the Court, and he found the work system in place at the time as “an inherently flawed and unsafe system of work”. 

The Court analysed the various medical opinions and the evidence and arguments for and against CRPS/physical injury, he ultimately rejected the Defendant’s evidence on the matter and concluded that Plaintiff does suffer from CRPS 1.

General damages were assessed at $450,000, putting them near the range put by the Plaintiff’s Counsel ($500,000) and well above what was proposed by the Lawyers for WorkSafe ($250,000 to $275,000). The past loss was agreed at a bit under $300,000. The future loss assessed and awarded accepted the Plaintiff as having no capacity and compensated him up to the age of 67, which equated to $1,207,546.

In summary, the Court awarded the following damages:

  • Pain and Suffering – $450,000
  • Loss of Income/Earnings – $1,502,618
  • Total – $1,952,618

The current maximum common law damages allowable in Victoria for a workplace injury are:

  • Pain and Suffering – $660,970
  • Loss of Income/Earnings – $1,518,180
  • Total Maximum Damages – $2,179,150

For further details on this outcome please contact our office on (03) 9670 9066.

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Shaun Marcus

Shaun Marcus is a partner and accredited specialist in personal injury law, covering a variety of personal injury claims, including; WorkCover Claims, TAC Accident Claims, Asbestos Claims (including Mesothelioma and Asbestosis Injuries) and Public Liability matters. Shaun has previously sat on the WorkCover Advisory Committee, which assists in advising government about workers compensation laws in Victoria and is currently a Director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance. Shaun is currently National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

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