Judgment in the matter of John Jackson vs Michael  Jones.

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Her Honour Judge Davis

Case No. CI-19-03765


  • The client was told he had no chance of winning by previous lawyers
  • Attempts to tarnish the plaintiff’s character failed
  • Contractors who do 80% of their work for one company are deemed employees


Physical altercation between employer and employee leads to allegations of Intentional tort, battery, negligence, general damages, pain and suffering.

County Court of Victoria

Case Details:

John Jackson was 66 years old and working as a contractor for a concreting business, Begonia Concreting Services, owned by Wayne Jones.

On 27 Aug 2015, Mr Jones informed Mr Jackson that work was drying up and that his services would no longer be needed. He told Mr Jackson to pass by his home to collect his final pay packet. When Mr Jackson arrived at his boss’s home, he made his way to a pergola where Mr Jones and two other men were having an after-work drink. He grabbed a beer and joined the group.

It was alleged that Mr Jones had been drinking for some time and was acting drunkenly. He began to abuse Mr Jackson and say offensive things about his family.

Mr Jackson went to leave and asked that he be given his pay packet and a Separation Certificate in order to claim Centrelink benefits. Mr Jackson claims that  Mr Jones pushed him forcefully against a brick wall and dislocated his shoulder. One of the other men, Stephen Squire, took Mr Jackson by the injured arm, dragged him out of the pergola, and threw him out on the pathway. 

Mr Jackson made his way to the hospital with lacerations to the head, and injuries to his right shoulder, left hip and left hamstring. His daughter went to the hospital that night and reported the matter to the police. 

In July 2016, Mr Jackson had surgery on his shoulder but continued to suffer from pain and restriction of movement. The injury left him unable to work or do things he enjoyed, like playing darts. And it interfered with his ability to enjoy his grandkids, who he could no longer pick up. He suffered from depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. 

Mr Jackson lodged a WorkCover claim which was accepted, and a Serious Injury Certificate was granted. However, WorkCover refused to pay any compensation. 

Acting for Mr Jackson, Carbone Lawyers sued Mr Jones for battery and negligence. Attempts to reach a settlement through mediation failed, so the matter went to court. 

One of the defendant’s main arguments was that Mr Jackson was a contractor, not his employee. But Carbone Lawyers could show that as Mr Jackson did more than 80% of his work for one company, he was a “deemed employee” under the law. The court was also shown a Begonia Concreting Services branded t-shirt that Mr Jackson had given him to wear on work sites. 

Counsel for the defendant attempted to damage Mr Jackson’s character by bringing up his past issues with the law and aspects of his personal life. These were rejected by the judge.


The judge found in favour of  John Jackson, and he was awarded $100,000 for pain and suffering. Costs were also awarded in his favour.

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