WorkCover Queensland v Amaca Pty Ltd [2010] HCA 34 (20 October 2010)

Further to my earlier postings regarding the Court of Appeal decision and subsequent special leave application. The plurality of the High Court decision allowed the appeal of WorkCover Queensland and reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of question 4.

Question 4:

“Is the quantum of the indemnity [WorkCover] is entitled to recover pursuant to s 207B(7) of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 reduced by the operation of s 66 of the Succession Act 1981 (Q) (“the Succession Act“)] if the worker dies after compensation is paid and before the trial of [WorkCover’s] action to recover the indemnity?”

Answer: No

Appreciably, in instances of mesothelioma claims or other instances where the life expectancy of the claimant is severely curtailed, this decision is of significant practical impact.

The decision is also of interest in respect of other statutory rights of recovery and the principles of interpretation.

I refer you to Asbestos Litigation Legalwise Seminar on 18 November 2010 where this topic will be discussed.

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

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