The widow of a man who died of a heart attack whilst on work
related travel, has secured a landmark award of more than half a
million dollars in a case that rewrites NSW compensation law.
Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers secured the settlement of
$510,800 by arguing that the man's death was the 'injury
sustained' under the Workers' Compensation Legislation.
The Workers' Compensation Commission found that the man, who
died alone after a cardiac arrest in his hotel room in Ballina,
suffered an injury which may have been avoided had he not been
required to travel for his work.
Further, the Commission said that his work related travel
created a 'significantly greater risk' of the injury, or
death, occurring and as such satisfied the only circumstance in
which the amended legislation provides for compensation for heart
attack or stroke.
"This case opens up a whole new avenue for loved ones whose
relatives die from a heart attack or stroke on work related
travel", said Carroll & O'Dea Partner Maithri Panagoda
who secured the settlement.
"What is unique about this case is that it is the first
time since the Workers Compensation Act was amended in 2012, that
cardiac arrest has been ruled an injury in relation to work related
"Specialist medical evidence found that the man would have
had an 85% chance of surviving the heart attack, had he not
suffered it whilst on work related travel, alone in a motel room
and unable to get help.
"There was evidence that the deceased had suffered sleep
apnoea, resulting in the wife maintaining a heightened level of
vigilance particularly when he was asleep.
"The Commission found that had the deceased been at home
when the heart attack occurred, his wife would have called for an
ambulance which most likely would have arrived in time to provide
'As a result the Commission found that the man's work
related travel created a 'significantly greater risk' of
the relevant injury taking place, namely his cardiac arrest..
"Now that the appeal rights on the matter have
extinguished, we are potentially going to see similar cases in
relation to work related travel", said Mr. Panagoda.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).