Adding words

Coleman v Caesarstone Australia [2021] QSC 125

This is a rare case where words were added into legislation7.  A stonemason contracted accelerated silicosis and later depression caused by that disease.  Proceedings for a ‘personal injury that is a dust-related condition’ are fast-tracked due to the low life expectancy of sufferers8.  Did he have to maintain separate proceedings for his depression? – ‘no’.

Bowskill J (at [39]) added words to the provision so it read – ‘personal injury that is or results from a dust-related condition’.  A literal reading would defeat the purpose; there was a drafting error; the substance of what parliament would have done was clear; and the change to be made was not ‘too far reaching’9.

This principle is from Episode 75 of interpretation NOW!


7 cf CGX20 [2021] FCAFC 69 (at [19-20]), Episode 74.

8 s 6(3)(b) of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld).

9Taylor [2014] HCA 9 (at [39]), HFM043 [2018] HCA 37 (at [24]) applied.