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Court to rule on hepatitis compensation case

Jul 30 2012 16:55 Sapa

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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court will rule this week on whether a plumber contracted hepatitis while on the job and if this entitled him to workplace compensation.

Trade union Solidarity said on Monday the employee had followed due process in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but had not been successful.

"His employer reported the matter to the Compensation Commissioner; however, the latter was not satisfied that the member's disease had been contracted in the course of his duties," lawyer Paul Mardon said.

"The member objected to the ruling, but no further ruling was made after the objection had been heard."

The Act stipulated that the presiding officer of the tribunal should have referred the case to the courts for a final ruling.

Mardon said the case had "dragged" on and it was only through pressure from the trade union that it would eventually be heard in the High Court on Tuesday.

Besides the compensation ruling, the court was also expected to clarify the process to be followed in future, should an occupational disease claim be unsuccessful.

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