|Date||2 August 2022|
|Charges||Charges 1-3 – s 534(2) – making a false or misleading statement|
|Court||Brisbane Magistrates Court – Magistrate Coates|
|Plea||Guilty to all three charges|
The worker made false or misleading statements by telling doctors and the insurer that he was not able to continue participating in his usual hobby of rugby coaching during the claim period.
The worker was employed as a welder when he sustained a right shoulder injury. A claim was lodged and the insurer accepted the claim.
The worker was scheduled to undergo surgery for his injury, however, this was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The surgery was rescheduled but was stopped at the last minute due to concerns raised by the anaesthetist about possible negative effects due to medication the worker was taking. The surgery was never carried out.
The worker was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by his general practitioner as a result of trauma associated with the surgery not proceeding. The worker attended a psychiatrist who instead diagnosed him with adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed moods.
The worker’s employer received a tip-off and subsequently engaged a surveillance firm to monitor the worker. During the period of surveillance, the worker was captured working as a rugby coach.
The worker attended the psychiatrist for an assessment and reported that he was unable to attend rugby coaching like he used to pre-injury due to his shoulder problems.
The worker told the insurer that he cannot do rugby coaching anymore and will get back to it when he feels better.
The worker attended an orthopaedic surgeon and reported that he had to stop rugby coaching because he could not pass a ball.
The rugby club the worker was coaching for provided information of the worker’s attendance at all weekly games and pre-season coaching during the claim period.
The worker was subsequently notified that his claim for physical injury would be ceased based on the surveillance footage. The worker’s claim for psychological injury was ceased at a later date.
|Penalty||Charges 1-3 – $2,000 fine|
|Common Law rights extinguished?||No|
|Consideration for Prevention|
Workers must be honest about their capacity for participating in hobbies as it may impact their assessments in relation to work capacity.