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Wrist Injury Case Based On Three-Year Limitation Period

A former employee who worked as a mill worker was injured at a plant operated by the MacKay Sugar cooperative in September of 1994. His goal in the lawsuit was to receive compensation damages from a wrist injury that occurred at that time up to the present date. The plaintiff in the case is Bruce Drew.

During his employment with the company, Mr. Drew was erecting scaffolds. He was carrying 2 m long/30 kg scaffold tubes when he slipped on a muddy concrete floor behind the plant centrifuges. He fell and landed on his right wrist. Mr. Drew apparently wasn’t injured, as seriously as he thought so he never acquired the advice of any personal injury lawyers during that time period.

He continued to work his job without reporting the accident to management because no official report was submitted to court to verify the incident happened. In fact, no witnesses were called to appear in court during the trial case. Mr. Drew wanted the court to extend the three-year limitation period for the accident because of a recent diagnosis of the wrist injury in 2012 by an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Philip Duke stated in a report to WorkCover that the wrist injury was caused by the 1994 accident related to the fall. Dr. Duke testified that the wrist injury led to Mr. Drew developing arthritis in the injured wrist over the years. Mr. Drew argued that ligament damage and collapse would require a total wrist fusion to repair the damage caused from the accident in 1994. Mr. Drew also stated that this wrist injury entitled him to bring the claim for compensation damages forward from the actual time of the incident involving the fall.

The honorable judge Stuart Durward agreed in favor of Dr. Philip Duke’s 2013 report disclosing that “material and decisive fact” couldn’t be discovered quicker through available channels. The judge ruled in favor of Mr. Drew that his fall was likely caused by poor housekeeping practices of the operators of the Marian Mill. He claimed that it was their responsibility to keep the area free of debris causing wet, slippery conditions.

The judge also noted that Mr. Drew must be able to prove his case so the court would extend the limitation period in his favor. He stated that the defendant had a right to a fair and balanced decision in the case. The defendant claimed that none of the employees remembered the accident happening in 1994. They also stated that the actual date of the incident was never recorded. They claimed “irreparable prejudice since 20 years passed since the injury.” Mr. Drew’s personal injury lawyers never argued against the defendant’s claims.

Judge Durward agreed in favor with the defendants based on facts that they wouldn’t get a fair trial in the case. He refused to allow Mr. Drew to move forward with his claim in the case and dismissed the claim. Mr. Drew is only allowed to recover compensatory damages due to the condition related to his former job over the past 3 years. This post originally appeared on the Take the law… blog, you can read it in it’s original form here.

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