Recent Federal Court Decision – Lim v Comcare (Media release)
28 April 2017
Comcare will not have to accept previously denied claims in the matter of Lim v Comcare.
Recent media has indicated that the decision made by the Full Bench of the Federal Court, handed down on Monday 24 April 2017 in the matter of Lim v Comcare, will result in Comcare having to accept previously denied claims.
This is not the case. The Lim v Comcare matter was heard and decided on the single issue of the “as a result of” test in section 5A of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.
This case further clarifies the decision made in the High Court of Australia in the matter of Comcare v Martin in November 2016.
In Comcare v Martin, the Court held that when considering the reasonable administrative action exclusion, the decision maker must identify any reasonable administrative action taken in relation to the employee’s employment and consider, if the action did not occur, whether the employee would still have suffered their injury.
In Lim v Comcare, the Court confirmed that the Martin case involved “no substantial departure” from previous cases (Hart and Drenth).
The clarification of this issue within both the Martin and Lim judgements will support decision makers in the application of the “as a result of” test.
Comcare Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Taylor said the judgement in the Martin and Lim cases provides clarity for decision makers in applying the reasonable administrative action tests.
Comcare does not consider that the Lim decision will ‘open the floodgates’ in relation to acceptance of workers’ compensation claims.
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