Injured worker bullied and shot with staple gun – a disturbing story

dude-wtf

Another very brave injured worker shared his disturbing story with us. He was severely bullied in his workplace to the point where he was shot with a staple gun by a fellow employee! His workcover claim was initially denied, courtesy of a very biased ‘investigator’s report’. With the help of a law firm he finally managed to have his claim accepted, only to discover that his lawyer had coerced him to sign an “agreement” and since then the poor and exasperated injured workers has been going through an all too familiar nightmare of insurer’s bullying tactics, delays and denials…

Injured worker bullied and shot with staple gun – a disturbing story

The injured worker’s story in his own words

[some identifying parts removed]

[About 2 years ago], I happily and successfully applied to work in a caravan factory.
I’m a very skilled handy man and have experience with many skills so working in a caravan factory is a easy task for me.

I was assigned to work with a young boy and assist him in everyday tasks.
I soon understood that I was there to take him over, he was the classic drug/alcohol addicted,lazy, incompetent, uneducated, rude etc. etc.

Things went wrong since the first week, the drug boy came back from lunch break and he was too excited and unreasonable, he usually go together somewhere with some others and when they’re back they all appear irrational and too crazy doing things like dancing inside caravans with car stereo maximised volume, swearing, damaging goods, making mistakes and bullying others, they were there just to have fun.

I was working inside a caravan, the young boy came in and started shooting toward me with an industrial staple gun, the staples were like 4cm long.

I did my best to protect myself and raised my arms on my head and face, I left the caravan and the idiot kept on shooting and laughing.

I informed the Supervisor who seemed to know the behavior of that young guy and he appeared p*ssed off and disturbed.

After about 20 minutes the young boy came and blamed me for telling everyone, he was really upset.

I’m not going to tell the whole story because it’s too long, but the young boy was sacked as well as nearly all his follower friends, they one by one after bullying and insulting me were sacked but some were still there bullying me until I had to leave the place.

[Around one year later]  I made complaint to Police and asked to have a report so I could make application at Victims of Crime, Police refused to do it saying they are too busy and even if I had a witness they would NOT support me.

I made a formal complaint to the Ombudsman, later had meeting at Police and we discussed the issue late they sent me letter saying I was happy with the outcome (but I was NOT) so the issue was resolved, it meant NO REPORT!

I had to change GP because my Doctor didn’t want to deal with workcover issues “it’s too much headache”.

The new GP diagnosed me with medium to severe mental health illness and issued me a Certificate of Capacity.

I sent it to my Employer but later they called me and said my position was no more available.

They didn’t acknowledged my claim so I had to inquire WorkSafe then the insurer [name] which confirmed the Employer didn’t submit my claim.

[The insurer] accepted my claim and sent me to an independent (LOL) Psychiatrist for assessment while I was being treated by my GP also taking various medicines including anti depressants and waiting for the first appointment with a Psychologist.

Suddenly [the insurer] sent me a letter stating my claim was rejected because I wasn’t taking medication, also “because of the independent investigator” report. I thought what???

The investigator was a bullying old lady from [omitted] who was clearly biased and blamed me for things I told her happened at workplace, her report was also misleading I had to read and re-read before signing it because the pig lady made the report look against me.

It wasn’t what I told her but something against me.

By the way, we went to [Conciliation] and that was a fully wasted time and effort, [Conciliation] representative did no more than recommend me to go to a Magistrate Court. What a waste of time at [Conciliation]!

In the mean time I kept going on with the health care program, I exhausted the allowed sessions Medicare pays for Psychologists so I had to pay some bills by my pocket then I stopped it.

I am lucky I pay a premium health insurance so I was able to be enrolled in 2 different mental health programs from a private clinic.

I contacted a Lawyer firm, [firm name omitted], I explained my case and the owner told me that my case was strong so we initiated the long fight.

Finally came the time to go to Magistrate Court, my Solicitor kept on dealing with the defendant to try to achieve an agreement without going to Court but [the insurer]  was just too stubborn.

We had a preliminary audience and the Judge rejected the [insurer’s] request to have the case rescheduled because they didn’t have enough time to study my case (after nearly 18 months??), the Judge rejected the proposal and adjourned the case for late time the same day.

My Lawyer called me back before the Judge and said that we won and that [the insurer] accepted to pay medical expenses and weekly wages.

So far so good my Lawyer insisted many times for me to accept the agreement because it was a good option so I signed it.

Since then it has been a nightmare, I had to make too many requests to the Lawyer because [the insurer] delayed the payments or used silly [tactics] to make mess on the mess and delaying entitlements and refusing to accept treating Doctors’ or clinics requests for billing.

They rejected most of the bills without giving a clear explanation and now [he insurer] has again stopped weekly payments.
[The insurer] DO NOT pay travel expenses, it doesn’t matter how loud you tell them!

I feel like my Lawyer betrayed, he worked to best suit [insurer] NOT me!

He still holds some of my money and after I made too many verbal requests to have it back, lately I sent a formal letter asking for it and asking to end the deal so after that no more feedback from the firm.

They convinced me to sign an agreement just minutes before Magistrate Court allowing [the insurer] escape charges and now they are bullying me.

[Insurer] has planned to stop my weekly payments and has used baseless tactics and LIES to do so, they do not respond to my replays and to practitioners asking approval for billing and next step is to close my claim although I’m still in need of medical treatment and enrolled in mental health program.

Because of the [insurer’s] bullying I’ve had again suicidal thoughts, I was trying to forget my problems and keep my brain busy but now I’m again struggling, I’ve again to pay a Lawyer and now my issue is even more complicated!

My issue in still ongoing and this is just a brief of what is happening to me.

Thanks in advance for support and thank you so much for your bravery and your resilience!

All the best.

 

[Post dictated and manually inserted on behalf of workcovervictim]

 

 



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5 Responses to “Injured worker bullied and shot with staple gun – a disturbing story”

  1. Thank you so so much for having the guts to share your horrible story. You are an inspiration to many of us and may we hope that your story gets read by the very people who made/make your life a living hell and by our legislation makers who prefer to turn a blind eye to what is really happening to so many genuinely injured workers.

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    • The thing that stands out to me is that the victim seems to be an intelligent and diligent person.

      I am brought to thinking often lately, that its people like this (who wont harm others and refuse to play the game) who get the hardest time.

      Its a rude shock when you realise there is no place for integrity in most organisations. The biggest bastard wins.

      It took me a long time to realise no matter how many times I did right by someone, it just gets worse.

      Some advice tor the injured worker.

      You need to quote the section of the Act for reimbursments and other things before they will do it. Asking and telling doesnt work. You need to actually accuse them of breaking the law and stating which law.

      For example, in SA

      Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986—1.7.2009
      Part 4—Compensation
      Division 2—Compensation for medical expenses etc

      Division 2—Compensation for medical expenses etc

      32—Compensation for medical expenses

      (1) Subject to this section, a worker is entitled to be compensated for costs of a kind
      described in subsection (2) reasonably incurred by the worker in consequences of
      having suffered a compensable disability—
      (a) in accordance with a scale published by the Minister under this section; or (b) if the relevant service is not covered by a scale under this section—to the
      extent of a reasonable amount for the provision of the service.
      (2) The costs referred to in subsection (1) are as follows:
      (a) the cost of medical services;
      (b) the cost of hospitalisation and all associated medical, surgical and nursing
      services;
      (c) the cost of approved rehabilitation;
      (d) the cost of travelling, or being transported, to and from any place for the
      purpose of receiving medical services, hospitalisation or approved
      rehabilitation (but not where the worker travels in a private vehicle);
      (e) where it is necessary for the worker to be accommodated away from home for
      the purpose of receiving medical services or approved rehabilitation—the cost
      of such accommodation (but not exceeding limits prescribed by regulation);
      (f) the cost of attendance by a registered or enrolled nurse, or by some other
      person approved by the Corporation or of a class approved by the
      Corporation, where the disability is such that the worker must have nursing or
      personal attendance;
      (g) the cost of the provision, maintenance, replacement or repair of therapeutic
      appliances;
      (h) the cost of medicines and other material purchased on the prescription or
      recommendation of a medical expert;
      (i) any other costs (or classes of costs) authorised by the Corporation.
      (3) Compensation in respect of costs to which this section applies may be paid—
      (a) to the worker; or
      (b) directly to the person to whom the worker is liable for those costs.
      (4) Where a worker has been charged more than the amount that the worker is entitled to
      claim for the provision of a service in respect of which compensation is payable under
      this section, the Corporation may reduce the charge by the amount of the excess.
      (4a) A decision of the Corporation under subsection (4) is not reviewable.
      (5) Where—
      (a) services of a kind to which this section applies were provided to a worker in
      relation to a compensable disability; and
      (b) the Corporation considers that the services were, in the circumstances of the
      case, inappropriate or unnecessary,
      the Corporation may disallow charges for the services.
      (6) Where the Corporation disallows or reduces a charge under this section—
      (a) it must give to the provider of the service a notice setting out—
      (i) the basis of the Corporation’s decision to disallow or reduce the charge; and
      (ii) where the charge has been disallowed under subsection (5) the
      provider’s right to have the decision reviewed under this Act; and
      (b) the worker is not liable to the provider for the disallowed charge, or for more
      than the reduced charge, (as the case requires) and, if the worker has in fact
      paid an amount for which he or she is not liable, the Corporation will
      reimburse the worker for that amount and may recover it from the provider as
      a debt.
      (7) Where a worker travels in a private vehicle to or from any place for the purpose of
      receiving medical services, hospitalisation or approved rehabilitation, and the travel is
      reasonably necessary in the circumstances of the case, the worker is entitled to a travel
      allowance at rates fixed by a scale published by the Minister under this section.

      Quote this in your letter. Then you find the part where they MUST pay you. In the case of SA you quote this.

      https://www.employersmutual.com.au/south-australia/forms/rights.htm

      Change font size: SmallerLargerReset text
      Worker rights and responsibilities
      Worker’s rights

      To be paid weekly payments, if off work, once their notification is received (unless a reasonable excuse is applied or notification only) or a claim for compensation is determined.
      To have medical and other expenses paid promptly eg, travel.
      To have a current copy and be meaningfully involved in all decisions regarding their approved rehabilitation program/plan.
      To raise with the person managing their claim any dissatisfaction with their allocated rehabilitation provider.
      To have a treating doctor/specialist of their choice and obtain a second opinion from a specialist.
      To be provided with copies of all medical reports concerning their claim within seven (7) business days of Employers Mutual or the self-insured employer receiving them.
      To have a representative or support person present at any meeting or hearing about their claim (eg, family member, union, employee advocate, solicitor).
      To have any personal information kept confidential.
      To have an interpreter at meetings and appointments if required

      They say promptly but its actually WITHIN 7 days.

      If by the 7th day you have not received your reimbursement then you say COMPLAINT and you send the same letter saying it has not been paid to the head of the insurer.

      If within a reasonable time (usually a week but give them 10 days) you have not had it fixed, then you escalate it as a complaint to the ombudsman.

      If it is still not resolved then you take all of that, in order of how you escalated, with any responses or stating there was no response to your member of parliament.

      Once you have been through that once, each and every time you lodge something for reimbursement then you say must be paid by (put in date 7 days from then)

      GO GET EM

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  2. Thanks everyone for support.

    @Wroggle, I wish I had enough energies to do things the way you explained.
    Unfortunately when you’re mentally distressed and exhausted, you have no wish to even recall what caused your life to drastically change to something you would never imagine.

    The insurer don’t follow the rules because:

    1) Case Manager is hidden behind its employer and he/she never pays for Court expenses so they just tell LIES and who cares about.

    2) The insurer never say “I don’t want to pay” but they use baseless ways like for example they rejected most of the bills without giving a clear explanation, now how do you fight it?

    3) Writing a letter to the Minister has been a very negative experience for me.
    I complained to him regarding the super fund wasn’t paying my weekly wages (salary protection) even after we had meeting at the Ombudsman and we agreed the things and papers to provide, after that the super fund remained SILENT”.
    The Ombudsman’s representative told me “we cannot force them to pay”.
    I just tell you that the Ombudsman (the tribunal) is managed by people who have DEALS (see conflict of interest) within insurances and super funds!

    The Minister replayed after 6 MONTHS saying that the Ombudsman and the Tribunal were just doing their best so there was nothing to complain about!

    I was left with no money in my bank account, I was nearly HOMELESS.
    What I did I went to the super fund premises and asked them where the hell was my money, they played around saying I forgot to submit a document (LIE) so I decided to sat there until they gave me a clear answer.
    I make it short now, they called Police, I explained that I was a CUSTOMER wanting a service from my provider, Police said “this is trespassing you must leave”.
    I didn’t so they handcuffed me and took me inside their van, it was full summer and I was nearly died inside there.
    The officers were clearly biased and showed an ANGRY attitude against me, late on and only after they took the handcuff off they told me my rights.
    I was nearly death, I was taking medicines (late had swollen feet and hearth palpitations) and have had panic attacks and suicidal thoughts, it was a very bad moment.
    Police treated me like I was a CRIMINAL, they wanted to take me in jail and said “now you’re gonna sleep one night in jail”.
    Police DON”T help you!

    Guess what? After 3 days the super fund called me and confirmed they agreed to pay PLUS Police informed me the super fund asked to cancel the trespassing charge!

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  3. I’m horrified by the lengths that the Workover will go to crush injured workers. I think people with psychiatric injuries and mental illness from workplace bullying are seen by unscrupulous lawyers as easy money. We are so easily confused and overridden when our mental illness is in play. And really that’s part of the whole Workover system, the establishment and maintenance of an easy money trough for lazy and unscrupulous lawyers.

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  4. Xchanging, I do get it, and I’m still in it too.

    My post was long because its copy paste and thats what you have to do. Copy paste, and tell them to STFU and do it.

    but we dont find these things out until we’ve been broken.

    So sorry you are going through this too.

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