Industrial relations court rejects workers comp claim
THE state’s Industrial Relations Commission has denied a Gympie Nestle worker’s claim for compensation after she lost feeling in her hands.
Jennifer Carol Ball reported “numbness, tingling and burning sensations” in both hands in October 2017 while working at the Gympie plant.
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Her compensation claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was rejected by WorkCover and the Workers Compensation regulator, and she appealed arguing the job “aggravated her pre-existing CTS”.
This appeal was denied by the QIRC last month, with the court finding Mrs Ball failed to establish the aggravation occurred as a result of her job.
The commission found Mrs Ball was “less than frank or transparent about her CTS diagnosis, symptoms and pain while working at Nestle, and on different occasions during her pursuit of her Workers Compensation”.
“The evidence before the Commission confirms Mrs Ball first sought medical advice after experiencing pins and needles and other symptoms in her hands in 2002, when she was working at the Buderim Ginger Factory,” the court said in its finding.
“At that time, she met with a specialist who undertook further testing.
“She was eventually diagnosed with moderately severe bilateral CTS.”
Mrs Ball told the court she was “unable to recall receiving a formal diagnosis” from either a GP or a neurologist.
She also could not recall returning to see a neurologist for any follow-up treatment of discussion.
The commission said it was likely Mrs Ball had never followed up with the neurologist but “it seems unlikely that she was not aware of the CTS diagnosis following his examination and testing”.
“Although I can appreciate that a loss in shifts and therefore income may have been a motivating factor behind her lack of transparency, it follows that I now have some concerns about the reliability of Mrs Ball’s evidence,” the commission said.