Plaintiff seeks permission to ask for compensation after workplace injury.
The plaintiff, Mr Kader, worked at an abattoir. His job was to cut bones from the meat. The defendant, Naylor Operations Pty Ltd, was the owner of the abattoir. One day, the plaintiff was working on de-boning meat, when the knife he was using slipped and stabbed him in the stomach.
The plaintiff went to hospital and had surgery on the wound. He had permanent scarring running from his chest down his torso. Some of the scarring was from the stabbing itself, but a larger part was from the surgery afterwards.
The plaintiff applied to the Court to find out if the injury was serious enough according to the law that the plaintiff would be allowed to ask the defendant for compensation (known as a ‘serious injury application’).
In deciding whether the injury is ‘serious’ enough, the Judge needs to look at all the consequences of the injury. In this case, the Judge looked at the scarring and any physical, emotional and lifestyle impacts of the injury, and then compared it to other cases of scarring (precedents).
The Judge considered whether the plaintiff was physically restricted from working and decided – after reviewing video evidence – that the plaintiff was not physically restricted in this way. However, the Judge also considered the impact of the scarring on the plaintiff’s lifestyle and whether the fact that the scarring could be covered up meant it should be considered less serious than other scarring that cannot be covered.
The Judge decided this injury was serious, particularly when compared with other cases of scarring and disfigurement. The plaintiff was then given permission to sue the defendant for compensation for his injury at the abattoir.