Posted on 22 Feb 2018
Slater and Gordon has helped a Melbourne man recoup a six-figure Superannuation Total and Permanent Disability (Super TPD) payment after his claim was initially rejected by his insurer.
Senior Slater and Gordon Superannuation Lawyer Sarah Snowden said the case highlighted the intricacies involved in some superannuation claims.
Experienced carpenter Justin Colosimo was severely injured after he bent over to move two pieces of timber at a job in Carlton in May 2013.
“I bent over to pick them up and my back just went,” Mr Colosimo said. “I’d been working as a carpenter for 23 year so I knew my way around a construction site, it was just one of those freak things.
“And I’d never had lower back injuries before that so I still can’t believe it.”
The 40-year-old father of two suffered a severe lumbar spine injury and psychological injuries and as a result is unlikely to return to work.
After exhausting all possible medical avenues, he underwent fusion surgery in his lower back. And while the surgery was successful, he now suffers ongoing back pain with referred pain radiating down his right leg, sleep disturbances and stress as well as anxiety and depression.
“I’ve got no flexibility, now it takes two hours for me to get out of bed in the morning and sometimes I can’t even get out of bed,” he said. “My day is a combination of sitting, standing and lying and by the end of it I’m so tired.
“I’ve been told this pain’s not going away, I’m not going to be able to get back to work.”
Initially claiming for Super TPD through his financial advisor, Mr Colosimo – who lives with his wife Connie and two children in Roxburgh Park – was rejected by insurer Macquarie Life (now Zurich) in October 2015.
“They just kept giving me the runaround, asking for more paperwork and making it very difficult to get any straight answers,” he said
But through the help of Slater and Gordon he was successful, with the insurer reconsidering and granting Mr Colosimo a six-figure sum following legal action, which was launched on the former tradesman’s behalf.
Ms Snowden said she was confident that Mr Colosimo should receive support but it was a matter of working through his policy to ensure that the insurer would change its stance.
“His policy contained an especially challenging definition and the insurer was not actively considering the matter, so we issued legal proceedings,” Ms Snowden said.
“It’s always pleasing to know that we’ve been able to help Justin and his family get the support they need.”