vaccine injury

Landmark Covid Vaccine Injury Win

1 February 2024

3.4 MINS

Employers on notice as Tribunal decides employer is liable.

The Department of Child Protection (DCP) must pay compensation and medical expenses to a youth worker who developed pericarditis after getting a Covid booster under a workplace vaccination directive, the South Australian Employment Tribunal has ruled.

In a decision handed down on 15 January 2024, the Tribunal determined that Daniel Shepherd’s employment was “a significant contributing cause” to his injury, which has since rendered him incapable of performing his role at work.

Shepherd got a Covid booster in February 2022 as a requirement for his ongoing employment with the DCP. The DCP admitted that Shepherd’s pericarditis had been caused by the booster, but denied responsibility for the injury, arguing that it did not arise from Shepherd’s employment, but from a lawful State Government Public Health Order (PHO), issued under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (EMA).

However, the Tribunal rejected the DCP’s argument, deciding that because the injury arose as a result of both the state-directed vaccination mandate and his employment, Mr Shepherd was entitled to workers compensation.

Employers’ Duty of Care

“This is a good decision,” says human rights lawyer Peter Fam, of Sydney law firm Maat’s Method, noting that it sets an important precedent for holding employers accountable for injuries incurred as a result of vaccination directives enforced in the workplace.

“The most significant aspect of this case, in my opinion, is that even though there was a Public Health Order in place, the Tribunal found the employer responsible anyway,” says Fam.

Many Australian employers have sought to deflect responsibility for injuries incurred under workplace Covid vaccine directives on the basis that they were simply following state government orders.

However, under workers compensation law, the workplace is liable if employment is “a significant contributing cause of the injury,” regardless of whether other factors also contributed, explains Fam.

Therefore, despite the PHO stipulating that the worker must be vaccinated as a part of his employment, “the Tribunal still found that the injury he suffered as a result of the vaccine was sufficiently related to his work and his employment for him to be compensated by the employer.”

Dr Rado Faletic, a vaccine-injured scientist and Co-Founder/Director of Covid vaccine injury support charity COVERSE, says that the Tribunal decision sends “a clear signal to employers that they have a duty of care to their employees regardless of what governments impose upon them.”

Falling Through the Cracks

Yet, many Covid vaccine-injured Australians are still falling through the cracks, says Dr Faletic.

Based on the testimonies of injured Australians who have registered their details with COVERSE, Dr Faletic says that in cases where the injuries are acknowledged by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), such as myo- or pericarditis, they are more likely to win workers compensation.

However, “when it comes to people with unacknowledged diagnoses or unclear diagnoses, this is where people are struggling to get compensated,” says Dr Faletic.

Fam agrees that the fact that “there was no dispute” that Shepherd’s pericarditis injury was vaccine-related (the diagnosis was documented by two cardiologists) would have been beneficial to his case. Less common diagnoses “will be the challenge because there’s still a lot of fear with doctors and medical professionals in admitting causation,” says Fam.

Dr Faletic is encouraged by the outcome, but remains highly critical of the lack of alternative pathways for Covid vaccine-injured Australians to receive support.

“For many injured Australians who have already lost a lot of money because of their injury, they just don’t have the resources to pay for lawyers to fight for compensation in the courts. Some are accepting paltry compensation offers that don’t even cover their costs because they don’t have the resources to fight it,” laments Dr Faletic.

“The only remaining recourse is to rely on the government compensation scheme, but the parameters are way too narrow,” he adds. Indeed, in the first 18 months of the Services Australia compensation scheme, only 164 out of a total of 3,160 claims had been approved, which is less than 5%.

The inadequacy of compensation options available to Australians injured by the Covid vaccines prompted Whitsundays GP, Dr Melissa McCann, to initiate a Covid vaccine injury class action, which filed in the Federal Court in April 2023, and is still taking on members.

The action seeks to hold the TGA to account for alleged, “negligence, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public office” in its failure to properly approve and monitor the Covid vaccines, resulting in harms to Australians.

Another class action is in development, with a member of the legal team having previously brought several successful class actions on behalf of bushfire victims.

Nevertheless, Fam believes the South Australian Tribunal decision is an important step forward because “Employers are on notice that they are liable for injuries suffered as a result of their policies and directions.”

Fam concludes, reflectively, “Sometimes corporations and government departments have to actually experience the consequences of their actions before they think twice and correct course… It’s really sad that it’s taking people being seriously injured and killed for that to happen.

“Cases like this will mean that employers are reluctant to implement policies enforcing medical procedures in the future, which is great, because they were never qualified to do so in the first place.”


Originally published at Dystopian Down Under. Photo by Leeloo The First.

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  1. Ian Moncrieff 1 February 2024 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hopefully, the COVID Royal Commission Terms of Reference Inquiry taking place now will open the door to the errors made by many during and after Covid.

  2. Kim Beazley 1 February 2024 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    This is of little consequence in the scheme of things. Anything a company requires of its workers where the worker is injured in the line of that activity should be covered by compensation. But this case will, of course, be an exceptional one, as the incidence of vaccine induced pericarditis is extremely rare, being on average 1 in 100,000.

    And when study after study from around the world prove that the same condition is several times more likely as a symptom of COVID-19, then that’s the REAL story.

    This amounts to nothing more than an anti-COVID vax beat up.

    • KazMc 14 February 2024 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Your comment ” Study after study” had me in stitches, I thought you were taking the mickey for a second, then I read the rest of your “covid rant” and you are being serious ! Please stop reading these journal articles it’s affecting your critical thought processes.

      • Kim Beazley 15 February 2024 at 7:31 am - Reply

        So, you imagine that hundreds and hundreds of peer reviewed clinical studies from around the world, all performed locally and independent of each other, are somehow corrupted? And if all the studies on heart inflammation are corrupt, then where do you stop? They can’t just be a bunch of crooks in relation to this one side effect from a single vaccine. What about trials on other medications? Where does your “rabbit hole” end?

        For that to be the case, you’re requiring every single medical professional involved in medical research around the world to be inherently corrupt.

        And you think I’m the one whose critical thought processes have gone astray?

  3. Kurt Mahlburg 2 February 2024 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Encouraging news that sets an important precedent for other Australians. Alarming that only 5% of over 3,000 vaccine injury claims have been paid out so far. Praying for justice to be done and a robust Royal Commission to go ahead.

    • Kim Beazley 2 February 2024 at 6:35 am - Reply

      But Kurt, as we now know, thanks to Senator Babet, most of those claims were either rejected or withdrawn by the claimants. If it were possible to expedite these claims quicker, then did you stop to think that it might be a staffing issue? This is the Public Service, after all. They will never be as efficient as private enterprise.

      And even if all 3,000 had been genuine and paid, what does that tell you about these adverse events? There were over 50 million vaccinations in Australia for 3,000 claims, many of those not genuine. This correlates with all of the data from around the world which prove how extremely rare these adverse events are.

      And as we also know that every single one of those adverse effects from the vaccine is a far more frequent and far more damaging side effect of infection, then why isn’t that the story? Why do you not find that “alarming”?

      And it appears that you believe that the role of a Royal Commission is to administer justice, as though a crime has been committed. But that just turns it into a “kangaroo court” for whoever you hold accountable. Surely the best use of a Royal Commission is far wider, and should examine all aspects of the governance during the pandemic so that if there is a “next time”, that there will be a better system in place.

  4. Stephen Lewin 2 February 2024 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Many people I know whom have vaccine injury and or lost employment because of mandates will be encoraged by this decision. Also hoping a royal commission into covid 19 happens , especially knowing the extent of terms of reference submitted to the Senate Committee for evaluation . Thanks Rebekah for another quality article .

  5. gail Petherick 3 February 2024 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this news of justice for the youth worker. There are so many more with heart injuries who have had this occur since the vaccine, which we know was lablled as an ‘experimental’ vaccine. Others have had cardiac conditions arise after the vaccine as well as auto immune, and neurological diseases/conditions. Not many have the energy or time ormeans to pursue court action. It is good to hear of this legal admission of vaccine consequences in Daniel’s case. May it be an example to others and give hope of justice

  6. John R Wallis 4 February 2024 at 10:04 am - Reply

    May l be so bold, or may be so ignorant as to ask, “who is Kim Beazley”?
    Does he live on planet earth?
    Kim, please send me your email address so that I can inform you of what is happening in the real world.
    John R Wallis
    0427 612 002

    • Kim Beazley 5 February 2024 at 7:41 am - Reply

      Why would I share my personal details with someone who has already made up their mind, and when it’s obvious that your only intention is to gaslight and belittle me? Please feel free to engage with any point I made here and explain why you think I’m not “on planet earth”, and that you have any understanding of “what is happening in the real world” that you occupy.

      That’s if you can.

    • KazMc 14 February 2024 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Kim Beazley is a “troll”

      (in folklore) an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf.

      a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content. Internet trolls. In the late 1980s, Internet users adopted the word “troll” to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities.
      I know you already know this information I’m sure 🙂

      • Kim Beazley 16 February 2024 at 5:11 pm - Reply

        Not only am I not a troll, I am a contributor to this blog, with almost 50 articles published in the past three years ( As that is also my real name, and you are posting your ignorance under a pseudonym, the only “troll” around here is you!

        In fact, you are reduced to trolling because you are incapable of responding to what I actually wrote. Your ignorance fuels your hatred, and so this disgrace is all you can offer.

  7. Stephen Lewin 8 February 2024 at 8:52 am - Reply

    royal commission into covid 19 should include terms of reference to ascertain a more correct figure of vaccine injured , which from what i aware of from opendaen website is over 100000

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