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Clinical records destroy claim for primary psychological injury

Qannadian v Bartter Enterprises Pty Limited [2016] NSWWCCPD 50 (18 October 2016) 

The decision in Qannadian demonstrates the importance and the use of clinical records in the fact finding process.

The acceptance and use of the clinical records was assisted by the fact that the clinical records were extensive and comprehensive while the Arbitrator exercised caution in the application of the records to his decision. Additionally, specific reasons were provided for the Arbitrator’s decision and reliance upon the records.

An Arbitrator may form a view about the credit of a witness, as long as the parties have been provided a reasonable opportunity to make submissions on the issue, without the need of oral evidence or cross examination. 

DP Snell agreed with DP Roche in Romanous Constructions Pty Ltd v Arsenovic [2009] NSWWCCPD 82 that ‘[w]hether a worker has sustained a primary psychological injury depends on an assessment of all the evidence, lay and expert, in the particular case.’ DP Snell accepted the respondent’s submission that ‘[t]he Arbitrator explained his reasoning process, gave all material facts appropriate weight, and constructed inferences based on legitimate evidence and reasoning.’

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