Truckie wins Linfox compensation case appeal


Federal court rejects AAT ruling that driver bore some responsibility for injury

 

A former Linfox tanker driver who was physically assaulted while on the job has won his Federal Court of Australia appeal against an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) ruling.

Kym O’Loughlin had been injured in Melbourne after intervening in a violent altercation between a man and a woman at a service station where he was delivering fuel.

The appeal means Linfox must pay the O’Loughlin’s costs and resume paying compensation for the injuries he sustained.

Linfox had paid compensation from 2010 to 2014 after accepting liability but had halted payments in early 2014 after a High Court ruling the year before.

In that case, Comcare v PVYW, an employee was judged to have injured herself during an "interval" in her work for a company unconnected to that company.

The AAT ruled in 2014 that the driver’s injuries were sustained in the course of his employment and not during an interval in his employment, as Linfox had contended when it revoked the September 2010 determination.

But it did decide compensation "does not apply" if injuries were sustained because the employee "voluntarily and unreasonably submitted to an abnormal risk of injury". 

However, the judge found that the driver had not initiated the fight and had been doing his job at the time. He was also critical in pasing at the company's pursuit of the lengthy case.

A comment from Linfox has been sought. 

 

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