67 year old warehouse worker receives $150,000 settlement for shoulder injury

Our client was employed by labour hire company who sent our client to work as a packer at a warehouse where he was under control, direction and supervision of the warehouse company.

Our client, who was 67 years of age at the time of his accident, was allocated a task by the warehouse company of loading a consignment of twenty boxes weighing between 10-15kg onto the top shelf of a storage/dispatch cage at a height above our client’s shoulder height, when he sustained an injury to his right shoulder as a result of having to throw the boxes over the side of the cage.

Our client underwent shoulder surgery and was off work for 10 months following the surgery.

He then returned to work on light duties but continued to suffer from shoulder symptoms and experienced an exacerbation of these symptoms whilst holding on to a pole on a train whilst travelling to work.

As a result of the exacerbation of his symptoms, he was certified by his doctor to work 4 hours a day/5 days per week. Unfortunately, his employer could not accommodate him with these restrictions and his employment was terminated.

Our client initially made a Workers Compensation claim against his employer, the labour hire company, where he received payments of weekly compensation benefits for time off as well as payment of his medical/treatment expenses as well as surgery expenses.

He also received an award of 9% Whole Person Impairment as lump sum compensation for his shoulder injury, which equates to $12,375.

As our client was sent to work as a labour hire worker at a warehouse site and was not under the control, direction or supervision of his employer at the time, he was able to commence a negligence action against the warehouse company in the District Court of NSW.

This negligence action against the warehouse was for compensation for pain and suffering for his injuries, past and future economic loss, past and future medical expenses and past and future domestic care.

As part of the preparation of his case, we arranged for our client to be assessed by our medico-legal orthopaedic surgeon and arranged for our medico-legal occupational therapist to attend our client’s home to assess his ongoing domestic assistance needs which resulted from the accident.

In addition to the medical side of the case, we also arranged a view of the warehouse accident site by our consultant engineer, who was then able to prepare a report on behalf of our client to address the issues arising from the unsafe system of work which resulted in our client’s injuries.

Prior to the District Court hearing of the case, the parties convened a mediation.

Although there were some discrepancies between various witnesses who worked at the warehouse alongside our client with regards to the system of work and the height of the cage our client had to throw boxes into, together with our client being over retirement age at the time of his injury, we were able to negotiate a settlement of the case for $150,000.


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