Family of Sunshine Coast woman loses death payout
THE family of a Sunshine Coast woman who died at a work Christmas party has lost its bid for a payout after a ruling it was a result of 'a frolic of her own'.
Jukes Campbell, of Noosa, worked for retail giant Woolworths as a fine wine manager at liquor chain Dan Murphy's when she dived into the Noosa River during a picnic on Good Friday last year, News Corp reports.
The Christmas party was held in March because staff were too busy to hold it earlier and Good Friday was the only other day the store closed its doors.
The mother-of-two suffered head and neck injuries. She died in hospital two days later.
Mr Campbell earlier told the Sunshine Coast Daily that his wife and a friend had dived fully clothed into the Noosa River for a swim.
She struck her head on something, believed to be a sandbank, and never regained consciousness.
On the Monday, the people close to Jukes held her as her life support machines were switched off and she took her last breath.
The Sunshine Beach couple had been together since they were in grade 12 at Noosa District High School.
"We met when I heard she wanted to go do the deb ball with me," he said.
"I was supposed to be going with another girl but when I heard Jukes wanted to go with me..."
"We just had a special connection. She was a really funky, cool chick," Jonathon said.
"She loved music, she loved life. She was such a caring person.
"I've cried a river of tears. Jukes wouldn't want us to be sad, but she's irreplaceable."
Mr Campbell, a police officer from Mackay, originally won the right to her workers compensation.
But Woolworths' workers compensation insurance arm decided to block the payout by appealing to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and the decision was overturned.
Woolworths conceded its staff, including the store manager, encouraged Ms Campbell to attend the party but denied they encouraged her to dive into the shallow waters of the river.
In his decision, IRC deputy president Daniel O'Connor ruled that Mr Campbell was not entitled to his wife's workers compensation because she had been "on a frolic of her own".
Mr Campbell has lodged an appeal.
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