Further to yesterday’s very popular post about “which workcover insurer would you choose if you were an employer”, here is a well-fitting legal case about a completely sick (if not most criminal) attempt of Allianz to attempt to defeat and destroy a genuinely severely injured man in a supreme court of law! The tactics used by Allianz’s defense lawyers and their medical hired guns are so sickening and outrageously deceitful that I nearly vomited reading the case.
Allianz insurance was defeated on all points in its Supreme Court denial of diminished working capacity for a 22-year-old sugar mill worker, injured in October 2001. Robert Girone sustained neck and back injuries as well as a serious right leg fracture.
Allianz – represented by McInnes Wilson – admitted liability but contended for the duration of the three-day Townsville trial, that the plaintiff was a fraudster who exaggerated his injuries and fabricated a limp and muscle spasms.
Allianz workcover insurance and their independent medical ‘doctors’: the lowest of low-life on earth
In one of the many blows to Allianz, its surveillance footage was held to be so lame that it actually assisted the plaintiff 😉
His honour inferred that had there been anything more damaging to the plaintiff to come from the surveillance, it would have been enthusiastically produced.
But in the most compelling chapter of this tale, Orthopedist Dr Toft and Neurologist Dr Cameron both gave evidence that the plaintiff had no disability at all. As did the insurer’s occupational therapist. (right, mate, these doctors will now go on our black list of hired guns)
On the other hand for the plaintiff, Dr Maguire assessed his disability at 27% and Dr Campbell diagnosed upper and lower back pathology as well as neurological symptoms in his right leg and right hand. Therapist Catherine Purse assessed him occupationally, as having poor prospects of returning to work.
Accounting for the wide gap among the two groups of experts was the insurer’s suspicion that the upper and lower back injuries were a “recent invention”(WTF!!!). Allianz asked its experts to assume that the plaintiff had never previously complained about his upper and lower back symptoms.
In the second rebuff to Allianz, the court found this premise was plainly wrong: naturally “the focus would be on what was a very serious injury to the leg” but even so, the emergency room registrar had drawn a sketch in the chart showing the plaintiff with a back problem! Physiotherapy records also revealed early neck and back complaints.
As a result, the opinions of Dr Maguire and Dr Campbell were both robustly accepted.
As for the muscle spasms not being a constant feature of the plaintiff’s condition, the court held that they were quite likely variable, the spasms appearing on some occasions, involuntarily for no specific reason.
And in a further rejection of the insurer’s suspicions, it ruled that the plaintiff’s limp could quite understandably be present on “bad days” but not on good ones.
The plaintiff had a chequered working history and his mill work was a seasonal job: for the crushing season. He had also been off work after two minor injuries at work in 2002 and 2003 and a motor accident in 2004 after which his employment was terminated.
Thus there were “many contingencies to be allowed for” in the assessment of loss of earning capacity but, in the words of His Honour “these move in both directions”.
Nevertheless the court concluded that the plaintiff had indeed sustained “a substantial destruction of his earning capacity” and awarded future economic loss at $400 per week as part of the overall judgment of $661,000.
* Girone v Allianz & Denholm  QSC 420
I am SHOCKED to read to what f*cking length those Allianz scumbags went to try to deny this poor injured man’s so obvious injuries, isn’t this just outrageously criminal? Imagine sitting in that court room and having to listen to Allianz defense lawyer and their so called expert IMEs (hired guns) who found NO DISABILITY whatsover…??? Jesus, I would have gotten off my chair and single-handedly squeezed the last breath out of every single one of ’em! Hallelujah. Thanks God for a great Judge with some morals and clever enough to see through pond scum!