Injured boy waits 16 years for his lawyer to file a compensation claim

Injured boy waits 16 years for his lawyer to file a compensation claim

06 February 2015 By Felicity Nelson
TIME CALENDAR

An 11-year-old boy has had to wait till his 27th birthday for his lawyer to get around to lodging a compensation claim.

The boy was bitten by a dog in 1998 and only recently received $27,000 in compensation.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Perth lawyer responsible for this staggering time-lag, Carmelo Grasso, has now been fined $5,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Mr Grasso offered no excuse for the "unacceptable and serious" professional misconduct and took full responsibility for the delay.

SPONSORED CONTENT

He first offered his services to the boy’s parents in June 1998 and confirmed that he would apply for criminal injuries compensation in a letter to the boy’s mother.

Over the next few years, the case went forward painfully slowly.

But after 2001, the proceedings stalled completely, and for the next 13 years Mr Grasso did practically nothing to pursue the case, despite reassuring his clients that he was following up on the claim.

With his patience wearing thin, the client contacted the Legal Profession Complaints Committee to report Mr Grasso’s extreme tardiness.

Folklaw can’t imagine how a case could stay buried on a lawyer’s desk for well over a decade, but at least Mr Grasso was thoughtful enough to offer his client an extra $27,000 and did not charge any legal fees.

Injured boy waits 16 years for his lawyer to file a compensation claim
Intro image
lawyersweekly logo
The Women in Law Awards is the benchmark for excellence, recognising the empowering women influencing the Australian legal profession, celebrating the female leaders, role models and future champions of the industry. Register for the waitlist today for the opportunity to attend this remarkable awards ceremony and network with top legal professionals and fellow peers.
Visit womeninlaw.com.au