In a recent Workers Compensation Commission decision, Mitchell Gajkowski, a rodeo bull rider who was severely injured while performing was deemed to be a worker in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act. Being a legitimate worker, Mr Gajkowski was awarded weekly payments for loss of income from the date of injury and ongoing medical treatment expenses.
At the time of his injury, Mr Gajkowski was 18 years old and a senior bull rider who had more than nine years bull riding experience to his name. He had planned to move to America to pursue a career as a professional bull rider. However, on April 4, 2014, Mr Gajkowski fell from his bull while competing at a rodeo at the Camden Show. Because of the fall, Mr Gajkowski suffered a severe brain injury which significantly reduced his quality of life and diminished the quality of life for his family.
The respondents, The Camden Show Society Inc and the Australian Bushman’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association, denied that Mr Gajkowski was a worker at the time of his injury, and therefore not entitled to claim compensation under the Workers Compensation Act.
The issues facing the Commission was whether Mr Gajkowski was considered a worker in accordance with Schedule 1, Clause 15 of the Workers Compensation Act, and if so, who was liable for the claim, and thus liable to pay compensation.
The Workers Compensation Commission found that Mr Gajkowski was deemed a worker pursuant to Schedule 1, Clause 15 of the Act as he was engaged in bull riding for a fee or award. He was performing as an entertainer, and his injury occurred during and was directly related to his engagement in the performance; therefore, entitling him to weekly payments of compensation as well as medical treatment expenses.
On the issue of liability, the Registrar found that both the respondents were responsible of conducting the rodeo event. Therefore, the respondents were found liable to pay equal compensation to Mr Gajkowski for his injury which occurred during his employment.
For the full case, please refer to : Gajkowski v The Camden Show Society Inc  NSWWCC 124
For more information about this case, or if you want to make a claim for workers compensation, please get in touch with the experienced Garling & Co team today.
GARLING & CO 2017