Plaintiff Awarded Costs On Basis Of Lawyers' Precedent Decision
In WorkCover common law claims, there are significant restrictions on costs that can be recovered by a worker. However, the Court has been interpreting the provisions of the Workers' Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003 ("WCRA"), to allow workers to achieve costs where they are successful in applications brought to enforce their entitlements to claim common law damages.
We previously reported The Personal Injury Lawyers successful decision of Brown v Marine Contracting Pty Ltd, where his Honour awarded costs for the Plaintiff in his application to bring his claim against his employer out of time (outside the 3 year limitation period). His Honour awarded the costs on the basis that the application was brought before litigation, and only litigated proceedings fell within the costs restrictions under the WCRA.
This decision has been further affirmed by the Supreme Court in the matter of Ley v Woolworths 2 (2013) QSC 193. In that case, His Honour held that the Respondent (Woolworths) had to meet the worker's costs of his application to enforce Woolworths to meet its obligations under the WCRA. Mr Ley was successful in his application for a declaration stating that he was entitled to claim common law damages under the WCRA.
His Honour, Justice North, considered that the provision limiting costs in interlocutory applications only applies to applications made within litigated proceedings. In making his determination, His Honour followed the reasoning of His Honour Justice Peter Lyons J in Kidd v Toll North (2012) QSC 220 and The Personal Injury Lawyers’ precedent decision, Brown v Marine Contracting Pty Ltd & Ors (No 2) (2012) QSC 345.
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