Example of proceedings for other dust-related claims

The following is a demonstration of the Timetable for a typical other dust-related (non-asbestos) claim. It may not apply to every case heard by the Tribunal.

For full information on proceedings at the Tribunal, refer to the 'Relevant Legislation' panel (on right).

Statement of Claim

A case is initiated by the plaintiff lodging a Statement of Claim form at the Tribunal Registry with the appropriate fee. All forms are available for download (along with a schedule of fees) at Forms & Fees’.

All parties (plaintiffs and defendants) should consider obtaining legal representation (see Legal Assistance’). Plaintiffs need to ensure that their claims comply with the requirements of the relevant Legislation, particularly in respect of the timeframes for submitting forms and other supporting documents.

As soon as possible after lodging the Statement of Claim, the plaintiff must file and serve on the defendants a Form 14 Statement of Particulars (Personal Injury), listing the information required for the case (for further information, refer to  Legal Information & Resources). After the Statement of Claim is filed with the Tribunal, the matter will automatically be listed (scheduled) for a Directions Hearing within six weeks.

Defence

Each defendant after being served with the plaintiff’s Statement of Claim, should consider filing and serving an Appearance and/or a Defence forms (forms 6A, 6B, 7A or 7B) within the time required by the Legislation. 

Directions Hearings

The Tribunal begins to manage the case by using a Directions Hearing to determine what should occur, in what order, by when, in order to progress the Claim towards readiness for a Hearing date.

Tribunal Directions Hearings are usually held on Tuesdays. A Notice of Motion form (Notice of Motion Form 20) should be completed and filed in order to seek a Directions Hearing date (fees apply).

A Directions Hearing is a preliminary Mention of the Claim in Court where a party formally asks the Judge for Orders that certain things be done in order to help progress the case. The Judge will ask other parties for comment and then make Orders directing the parties on how to progress the case. For example the Judge could Order:

  • referral for an urgent bedside Hearing, where the plaintiff is gravely ill
  • referral to an Issues & Listings Conference (see below)
  • a Timetable, setting out the steps to progress the case, be followed
  • various other matters, including the issue of Subpoenas to obtain medical or other records.

A representing lawyer is expected to be familiar with the case and be able to inform the Tribunal about:

  • the nature of the disease
  • the condition and prognosis of the plaintiff’s health
  • the current state of the Pleadings
  • the case’ readiness for Hearing and whether: 
    (a) experts' reports have been obtained and served; 
    (b) further medical examinations are required and, if so, when; (c) technical or financial experts have been, or are to be, qualified to prepare reports
  • whether admissions have or will be sought and made
  • whether Orders for Discovery and Interrogatories have or will be sought
  • whether Particulars have been filed and served
  • the nature of Orders, if any, made earlier, and whether they have been complied with
  • a completion date for the Timetable
  • a proposed date for Hearing.

Issues and listings conference

The parties have an opportunity to identify and resolve disputed issues in a conference held at the Tribunal prior to a Hearing. Apart from saving on legal costs, it can help the parties to focus on the substance of outstanding issues, thereby reducing the length of any Hearing. Any agreement between the parties can be put in writing in a Consent Order form (see 'Forms & Fees') and presented for consideration by the Tribunal.

Settlement

All parties to a Claim can try to negotiate a settlement at any time, without having to continue through to Hearing.

Once an agreement has been put into writing in a Consent Order form (see 'Forms & Fees') and signed by all parties, it must be filed with the Tribunal together with a Consent Judgment form (see 'Forms & Fees').

An appointment will then be made with a Registrar or Judge (depending on the nature of the agreement), who will examine the agreement (known as the 'Orders') and, if appropriate, enter a 'Consent Judgment' to finalise the Claim.

Relevant Legislation

A selection of laws and rules that apply to the Tribunal.   

Dust Diseases Tribunal Act 1989    

Dust Diseases Tribunal Regulation 2013    

Dust Diseases
Tribunal Rules
   

Civil Procedure Act 2005     

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005     

Also see publications for legal reference information.

Dust Diseases Tribunal (Standard Presumptions -Apportionment) Order 2007