Section 134AB(29) of the Accident Compensation Act, 1985 means if injured workers win in proceedings under that Act, they get 20% less from the losing party towards the amount they have actually been charged by their lawyers than all other litigants. In Joaquim v FPI Vinyl Compounds Pty Ltd, Supreme Court of Victoria, unreported, 9 July 2010, Costs Judge Wood held that the provision means that whatever the taxed costs are, 20% is deducted. It was argued by the losing party that the 20% deduction should apply only to scale items allowed as per the scale allowance, and not to items which were already allowed in the discretion granted by the preamble to the County Court scale in an amount less than provided for by the scale. The provision says:
‘For the purposes of the taxing of costs in proceedings to which this section applies, any applicable scale of costs has effect as if amounts in the scale were reduced by 20%.’
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