Bank workers gets $270,000 for chair collapse

Author: Harrison HR | Blog

A Westpac bank employee who seriously injured her back when a chair collapsed under her at work has been awarded more than $270,000 in damages.

In the Supreme Court, the Westpac Banking Corporation admitted liability for the injury suffered by Tara Kim Andrews on December 12, 2006.
However, it was left to Justice Duncan McMeekin to decide on the quantum of damages, which was contested by the bank.
The court heard Ms Andrews, now 46, was employed as customer services representative when she injured her back when a faulty chair collapsed under her and she fell.
Justice McMeekin said Ms Andrews claimed the fall resulted in a significant back injury that had effectively totally destroyed her earning capacity.
The bank contended the injury was nowhere near that serious.
"The plaintiff (Andrews) has a soft tissue injury; it has permanent consequences and is best assessed as a 5 percent impairment," Justice McMeekin found.

After a lengthy examination of medical and other evidence he awarded Ms Andrews total damages of $334,766.  However, after a refund to Westpac of $63,526.23, he gave judgment for Ms Andrews in the sum of $271,240.

TIP: Identify and eliminate/minimise all hazards in the workplace, including maintenance of office equipment and furniture.

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