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Accident Compensation Cases

Gera v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 03/09/02)

Judgment Text

Judge A W Middleton
The appellant, through his advocate, lodged an appeal on 28 February 2001 against the decision of the Reviewer who upheld the respondent's primary decision that the appellant was not entitled to weekly compensation or any other entitlements because his lower back condition was not caused by an accident. 
The grounds for appeal are: 
The failure of the Reviewer to find in favour of the appellant in that his current incapacity and the need for surgery are as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 1986. 
That since the original accident the appellant has had back pain worsening over the years, to the current point where surgery is required. As a result he is no longer able to continue in normal employment. 
That the Reviewer failed to make an adequate contribution towards the appellant's costs on review. 
After the appeal was lodged the Registrar requested the appellant's advocate to provide submissions. 
On 1 August 2001 the advocate advised the Registrar that she no longer represented the appellant. 
On 6 August 2001 the Registrar requested the appellant to file submissions and as no reply was received, again wrote to the appellant on 3 October 2001, 21 February 2002, 28 March 2002, 8 April 2002 and 5 June 2002. 
On 13 June 2002 the Registrar again wrote to the appellant confirming a telephone conversation with a member of the Registrar's staff, in which the appellant stated that he had nothing further to add and would not file any submissions. The letter also advised the appellant of the consequences of failing to file submissions. On 18 June 2002 the appellant wrote to the Registrar advising that he did not have any further submissions to put forward, and concluded the letter by stating: “Will this make a [sic] end to all this [sic] thank you for your time in this matter.” On 20 August 2002 the respondent filed a synopsis of its submissions. 
The difficulty for the Court is that the Reviewer made findings of fact based on the medical opinions and reports on the file. He concluded that there was no causal connection between the appellant's symptoms and any alleged accident. As the appellant is unable to demonstrate to the Court where those findings of fact are incorrect, the Court is left in the position where the appeal must be dismissed for want of prosecution. 
Accordingly the appeal is dismissed. 

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