WorkCover

Crown Law advises and acts for WorkCover Queensland, State Government departments and other public sector entities in the management of common law workers’ compensation claims.

Matters include claims on behalf of emergency services personnel such as police, corrective services, ambulance and fire officers, as well as claims arising from incidents at building sites, in national parks and at schools. Our team also specialises in claims relating to asbestos and dust diseases and other complex claims where, for example, psychiatric injury has been alleged, arising from bullying or harassment, trauma, excessive workloads or asbestos exposure.

Matters the team deals with on a regular basis include: 

  • conducting complex civil proceedings 
  • providing high-level legal advice
  • dispute resolution including negotiating settlements, conducting conferences and mediations
  • conducting complex trials in all jurisdictions 
  • identification and evaluation of risk management in personal injuries litigation. 

Lawyers from our WorkCover Team have represented the State in the District, Supreme and High Courts in some of Queensland’s largest and most complex WorkCover litigation cases.

Many of the claims we manage have government implications involving an important precedent or which have policy or operational significance. Some of these claims have attracted media attention not only in Brisbane but also in regional Queensland. Our experience also extends to managing claims involving intra governmental conflicts in relation to third party contribution and contractual indemnity disputes and the consideration of liability issues in this context.

Crown Law’s WorkCover Team continues to assist WorkCover Queensland and public sector employers in responding to claims involving allegations of bullying, harassment and assaults occurring in the workplace. As we are part of government, Crown Law is in a unique position to assist State departments and agencies in managing the risk of injury in the workplace and in identifying trends in common law claims.

Crown Law understands departmental systems and polices; as a result, our WorkCover Team has the expertise to manage complex common law claims in the pre-proceeding and litigation stages of claims, for example:

  • Psychological injuries as the result of exposure to traumatic events.  Crown Law represented the State of Queensland in matter of Hegarty v State of Queensland [2007] QCA 366  which is now a touchstone case in this area of law.
  • Psychological injuries arising out of alleged disputes, bullying and harassment, grievance procedures, inadequate training and over work in the workplace. The WorkCover Team has defended the following matters:
    • In Jayde Marie Greenall v State of Queensland [2013] QDC, the plaintiff alleged sustained physical and psychological injuries as the result of, among other alleged causes, not receiving appropriate training. There was a potential award of damages of $157,500.
    • Palmer & Ors v State of Queensland {2015} QDC involved a trial for four matters. The plaintiffs allegedly sustained psychological injuries as the result of complaints made against them and their belief they were not supported by management. There was a potential award of damages of just over $2 million.
    • Lee & Anor v State of Queensland [2015] QDC involved a trial of two inter-related matters.  The plaintiffs allegedly sustained psychological injuries as the result of believing the employer had not provided adequate support as the result of activities of other people in the wider school community. There was a potential award of damages of more than $360,000.
  • Injuries arising as the results of assaults to employees by members of the community who they are legislatively required to care for or interact with.
  • The management of claims arising out of exposure to asbestos. These claims have their own unique factors which include difficulty in identifying employer entities going back many years and the requirements of the New South Wales Dust Disease Tribunal.