Tribunal: Member Anna Burke

The applicant was a Postal Delivery Officer at the Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post). The applicant claimed to have developed lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, and an adjustment disorder during the course of his employment. Australia Post denied liability for the injuries and refused to pay workers compensation to the applicant. The applicant applied to the AAT for a review of the decision.

The main issue for the AAT was to decide whether the applicant in fact developed his injuries during the course of his employment with Australia Post.[1] To do this, the AAT considered medical evidence provided by experts who had observed the applicant.

Australia Post claimed there was no credible medical evidence indicating the applicant had the injuries he claimed and that the applicant’s claims of injury were reliant on his own admission of pain.

After considering all the evidence, the AAT decided that the applicant sustained a tennis elbow injury during the course of his employment with Australia Post. The AAT came to this conclusion based medical evidence about the likely cause of such an injury and the repetitive nature of the applicant’s work.

The AAT also found, after considering expert medical evidence, that the applicant’s adjustment disorder was a result of the way in which Australia Post had rejected and handled his original claim.

The AAT set aside Australia Post’s decision, finding they were liable to pay compensation for the applicant’s injuries and remitted the matter to Australia Post for reconsideration in accordance with this decision.

Read the full decision on Austlii.

 

[1] When determining liability for the payment of compensation, the definition of an injury in Section 5A(b) of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988  requires that it arises out of, or in the course of, the employee’s employment.