High Court of Australia

Maurice Blackburn Cashman v Brown [2011] HCA 22

242 CLR 647; 85 ALJR 730; 277 ALR 654

22 Jun 2011

Case Number: M176/2010

Before

French CJ, Hayne, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Maurice Blackburn Cashman v Brown

Torts
– Negligence - Applicability and effect of legislation - Plaintiff alleged she had suffered injury including psychiatric injury as result of employer's negligence - Plaintiff made claim against employer pursuant to s 98C of Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) ("Act") for compensation for non- economic loss - Pursuant to s 104B(9) of Act, Victorian WorkCover Authority referred questions to Medical Panel about extent of plaintiff's impairment - As result of Medical Panel finding, plaintiff deemed to have a "serious injury" for purposes of Act - As entitled under s 134AB(2) of Act, plaintiff commenced common law proceedings against employer for damages - Section 68(4) of Act provided that "[f]or the purposes of determining any question or matter", opinion of Medical Panel was to be applied by "any court, body or person" - In pleadings, employer denied plaintiff had suffered injury, loss and damage - Whether employer precluded by operation of Act from making that and other contentions in evidence or argument - Whether employer so precluded as a matter of issue estoppel.

Words and phrases – "for the purposes of determining any question or matter", "serious injury".

Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) – ss 68(4), 98C, 104B, 134AB.

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