Compensation for frozen shoulder

What happens when you get injured at work because you have to do repetitive lifting and you gradually develop pain? Sometimes there isn’t a single event that leads to injuries, but rather, symptoms develop over time.

 

We have recovered $150,000 in compensation for our client who suffered a frozen shoulder injury at work over a couple of years.

 

How our client sustained injuries

Our client was in his late 50s. He had worked for his employer for 25+ years. However, for most of that time, his work was office based.

 

A couple of years before our client suffered injuries, the employer made our client’s position redundant.

 

Our client was given a choice: either he takes a small redundancy package, or he accepts a new role which involved heavy and repetitive manual work. Our client stayed on and chose the new position.

 

In short, the work involved standing by a conveyor belt and removing boxes of heavy goods if there were any issues with the packaging.

 

Unfortunately, quite often there were issues with the packaging which meant our client had to regularly remove relatively heavy boxes from the conveyor belt.

 

And to make it worse: he worked in a confined space. This meant he was only able to access the boxes with one hand, and then he had to do an awkward twisting motion to get the box off the conveyor belt.

 

This went on for a while and our client developed shoulder pain which eventually stopped him from being able to perform his job.

 

Why was the employer at fault?

The employer must provide a safe system of work. We successfully proved that the employer breached this duty.

 

Our client was not trained in repetitive heavy lifting. Just because you work for a company for a long time, it doesn’t mean you are properly trained, especially if your job role changes.

 

Plus, the boxes were heavy and yet our client had inadequate access to lift the boxes with both hands. He was forced to lift them with one hand, putting all the pressure on one shoulder.

 

On top of this, we also obtained photos which showed that after we made a claim for damages, the employer changed the layout of the work area, to give more space to workers to access the conveyor belt. And it was pretty cheap to achieve this. If this could be done after our client sustained injuries, why couldn’t it be done sooner?

 

A successful outcome

We obtained expert medical evidence on the nature and severity of our client’s injuries, and how this impacted his earning capacity. We then convened a meeting with the insurance company who represented the employer.

 

Even though we were unable to settle the claim at the meeting (as the insurer did not offer enough compensation), we reached a successful resolution a few weeks later.

 

Keep in mind, sometimes the insurer will test your resolve at the first negotiation. They know they will have to pay, but they first try to get away with it cheaply. When they realise you have the resolve to see it through to the end, they often agree to increase their offer to avoid further costs, which happened in this case.

 

If you want to get sound legal advice about your injury claim and how much your claim may be worth, please get in touch with us on (07) 3063 2268 or email info@deneslawyers.com.au and we will be happy to help.