Attachment 16.2 Australian cases on exposure to secondhand smoke in which compensation has been paid, 1986 to 2006

Year

Name

Location

Cause of Action

Jurisdiction

Outcome

Facts

1986

Bishop v The Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Defence)

Commonwealth Employees Redeployment and Retirement Appeals Tribunal. Administrative Appeals Tribunal, A85/100, 25 March 1986

Compensation: undisclosed

Claim: Allergic reaction to smoke

1986

Burchmore v Queen Elizabeth Hospital

South Australia

Listed for hearing in the South Australian Local Court, April 1986

Compensation: settled out-of-court; conditions confidential but believed to involve a minimum of $8000

Claim: Lung damage

1986

Hart v Ansett Airlines of Australia

Compensation Court of NSW, 23 September 1986

Compensation: $20 000 out-of-court settlement

Claim: Nausea, headache, respiratory symptoms

1987

Victorian Secondary Teachers Association v Ministry of Education

Workcare claim, January 1987

Compensation: undisclosed

Claim: Severe aggravation of sinusitis and acute infection of nasal passages, throat and facial bones

1987

O'Brien v Muree Golf Club

New South Wales

Workers compensation claim, Compensation Court of NSW, June 1987

Compensation: $36 500 out-of-court settlement

Claim: Emphysema

1988

Carroll v Melbourne Metropolitan Transit Authority

Workcare claim, Victorian Accident Compensation Tribunal, July 1988

Compensation: $65 000 out-of-court settlement

Claim: Lung cancer

1991

Unnamed v SA TAB

Workcover claim, April 1991

Compensation: unknown

1991

O'Keefe v seven hotel employers

Workcare claim, June 1991

Compensation: $20 000 out-of-court settlement

Claim: Lung cancer

1991

Voss v Victorian Government

Victoria

Workcare claim, August 1991

Compensation: unknown

Claim: Throat cancer

1992

Scholem v NSW Dept of Health

(1992) 3 APLR 45

New South Wales

Common law negligence and breach of NSW Factories, Shops and Industries Act 1962

NSW District Court, Sydney, May 27, 1992

Compensation: $85 000

(District court jury award)

Claim: Exacerbation of asthma, emphysema (chronic obstructive lung disease)

Psychologist at community health centre. Prolonged exposure at work

1992

Julian Tagell v Victorian Office of Corrections

Victorian County Court, 25 June 1992

Compensation: out-of-court settlement, amount undisclosed

Claim: Aggravation of asthma, respiratory tract infections, other symptoms

1992

William Stewart v Victorian County Court

Victoria

Victorian County Court, October 1992

Compensation: out-of-court settlement, amount undisclosed

Claim: Impaired respiratory function, emphysema, asthma

1992

Gill v Electricity Trust of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian Workers' Compensation Review Panel, No. 94-0103

Compensation: $19 981

Claim: Reduced ventilatory capacity

1994

Unnamed v radio station 3RRR

Victoria

Compensation: out-of-court settlement believed to be some thousands of dollars

Claim: Contraction of pneumonia

1994

John Waters v VicRoads

Victoria

Melbourne Magistrates' Court, February 1994

Compensation: out-of-court settlement, amount undisclosed

Claim: Asthma, challenge to Workcover benefits

Year

Name

Location

Cause of Action

Jurisdiction

Outcome

Facts

1994

Nurse's aide (unnamed) v Victorian Public Hospital (unnamed)

Victoria

$4000 out-of-court settlement

Claim: Conjunctivitis
Workcare claim for medical expenses, pain and suffering

1994

Redmond Baxter v Victorian Office of Corrections

Victoria

Victorian County Court, June 1994

Compensation: out-of-court settlement, amount undisclosed

Claim: Respiratory condition, headaches, nausea

Beasley v P&O Cruise Lines

New South Wales

NSW Local Court

Compensation: settlement of $3500

Claim: Misleading conduct—smokefree areas claimed in a promotional brochure not enforced on a cruise ship

1997

Koliha v Coles Myer

Victoria

Victorian County Court

Compensation: settlement of $20 000

Claim: Damages for smoke exposure in a shopping centre

1997 / 2000

Meeuwissen v Hilton Hotels of Australia Pty Ltd

Discrimination

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, complaint Nos H97/50 & H97/51; 25 September 1997 and 10 March 2000

Compensation: $2000 and $500

Claim: Discrimination under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth)

Patron forced to leave nightclub due to asthma attack

2000

Andrea Bowles v Tien Tien Cafe Bar

Also referred to as

Bowles v Canton Pty Ltd

Victoria

Common law negligence

Occupier's liability (statutory)

Breach of contract

Melbourne Magistrates' Court, 13 September 2000

Compensation: more than $7600

Claim: Breach of contract/agreement, breach of duty of care and occupier's liability

Patron sued restaurant

2001

Sharp v Stephen Guinery t/as Port Kembla Hotel & Port Kembla RSL Club

New South Wales

Common law negligence

[2001] NSWSC 336

Compensation: Award of $466 048, including a settlement of $166 000 against another employer defendant prior to the award

Claim: Laryngeal cancer. Exposed during employment

2005

Edge v WorkCover Corporation SA

South Australia

Compensation awarded, sum undisclosed

Bar worker exposed to environmental tobacco smoke for three years, non-smoker, tongue cancer, partial removal of tongue, years of radiation therapy, speech therapy

Sources

The information in this table was collated from various internal memoranda at the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control and material published on the internet by the following organisations:

  • Action on Smoking and Health Australia
  • LexisNexis
  • The Cancer Council New South Wales
  • University of Sydney Tobacco Control Supersite
  • Workcover NSW
  • Workers Health Centre
      Previous Chapter