On 10 June 2011, the High Court refused an application for special leave brought by a worker against his self-insured employer in the case of Seal v Transfield Services (Australia) Pty Ltd. SISA Associate Member Gilchrist Connell Lawyers has provided a report on this significant case.
The worker’s weekly payments in respect of an accepted claim for right shoulder and neck disabilities had been discontinued on the basis that the worker’s substance abuse comprised a breach of his obligation of mutuality.
The Workers Compensation Tribunal rejected the worker’s argument that the substance abuse was in response to his pain experience and in the nature of “self-medication”. It upheld the self-insured employer’s decision to discontinue weekly payments. The worker’s appeal to the Supreme Court of South Australia was dismissed, leading to the High Court application.
To read Gilchrist Connell's report, click here.