Court rules compensation claim seven years too late

A COURT has ruled a man who got hurt at work at a North Ipswich mill in 2002 has sued for compensation seven years too late.

In 2002 Anthony Patrick Hogan was working at the Allen Taylor and Company "Top Mill" in North Ipswich when he hurt his back working on a plywood machine.

He made claims for compensation in 2002 and again in 2004, 2006 and 2008 as more treatment was needed. He remained employed in less physically demanding jobs with Allen Taylor and Company until 2011 when the floods forced the mill to close.

Mr Hogan quickly found a job as a storeperson at the Reject Shop but found after one day his back could not handle the work. Since then he has worked three days a week as a bus driver.

The Brisbane District Court heard Mr Hogan blames his inability to do physical work full-time on his injury. He issued a claim for damages in 2012 and called for the court to extend the statute of limitations that dictated the latest he could claim damages was in 2005.

Allen Taylor and Company argued they would be unfairly prejudiced as the plywood machine in question was not available for inspection and there was no way of testing Mr Hogan's claims about its ergonomics.

Similarly they said paperwork from the period when Mr Hogan was injured had been destroyed or lost in the 2011 food.

Judge Helen Bowskill ruled an extension should not be granted to Mr Hogan as the company would not be able to receive a fair trial after so long.

"A trial in which the defendant is unable to defend the criticism made of the system of work involved in an aspect of a machine that is no longer in existence, and therefore cannot be inspected; in the absence of potentially relevant documents and witnesses; and in circumstances where the recollections of available witnesses have faded, cannot be described as fair," she said.

The application was dismissed.


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