Judgment No. 3949
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss as irreceivable his claims for compensation for injury or illness attributable to service.
late appeal; complaint dismissed
The Tribunal has accepted that it is not always necessary for there to be strict compliance with the requirements of Circular AC.75 (see, for example, Judgments 3668, consideration 13, and 3004, consideration 5). This is appropriate having regard to the purpose and object of Appendix D, namely to provide benefits to staff members whose work has negatively impacted on their health including, in the most extreme case, causing the death of the staff member. Nonetheless, those requirements, and in particular the time limit derived from Appendix D itself, exist for a purpose. They enable the Organization to be made aware, in a timely way and with some detail, that a claim is being made and therefore its liability, potentially, is being enlivened. The time limit serves several purposes. One is that it enables an investigation to be made about the cause of the death, injury or illness and to examine whether it is work-related at a point in time when the facts are not stale. Medical opinions can be obtained at a time proximate to the time of alleged causation and, if relevant, information can be obtained from those who may have observed an event or events said to have caused the death, injury or illness when memories are fresh. Another is that it enables an organization and, if relevant, its insurance broker to monitor over time potential financial and related liability arising from claims that might succeed.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3004, 3668
time limit; service-incurred
It is not the Tribunal’s role, in a case such as the present, to adjudicate on the merits of a claim for compensation on medical grounds in the absence of a consideration of the question by a body that has been established for that purpose, if any, within an organisation (such as the ABCC) and in the absence of considered medical opinions addressing the question (see generally Judgment 3538, consideration 12).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3538
competence of tribunal; medical opinion