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Case 40

The defendant made an application for compensation in relation to an injury to her left thumb sustained on 25 January 2011 in the course of her work as a Pathology Assistant. The defendant's claim was accepted for RSI of her left thumb on 18 February 2011, and compensation benefits were paid for the period 31 January 2011 to 20 December 2011.

The defendant was certified unable to work at all for a period and then was certified fit for suitable duties. However a return to work as a Pathology Assistant was unsuccessful and after 18 July 2011 the defendant did not return to her pre injury position.

The defendant registered a business for a takeaway food outlet on or about 22 August 2011. Surveillance conducted at the business premises between 17 November 2011 and 17 December 2011 revealed that the defendant was working as a shop assistant in her own fish and chip shop.

On 21 December 2011 the defendant was contacted and advised her benefits would be ceased based on the surveillance footage obtained. The defendant said she was not “actively working” in the business, that she did not make any money or draw a wage from that business nor did she use her left hand. These statements were false and misleading in light of surveillance.

The defendant was convicted with Charge 1 for returning to a calling and Charge 2 for providing false and misleading information. The matter went to trial and on day two (almost at the end) the defendant changed her plea to guilty. The defendant was fined $5,000, ordered to pay restitution of $4,018 and WorkCover's substantial costs incurred because of the trial. The defendant did not have a conviction recorded.