Injured worker called fat lazy female in court – WTF


Where do I start. Well I was working as an Administration Assistant in 2005 I had a workstation made from an old desk and a desk return at my feet under the desk I had open Telecom cables and to my left a large hard drive box on the floor. I had a little room to move and constantly twisting to try and reach a keyboard that was pushed and fixed to the left hand side of the desk. I had to keep twisting to move the keyboard and what made matters worse they hard wired the keyboard in and I couldn’t move it, so twist and reach twist and reach….

Injured worker called fat lazy female in court – WTF

You may have seen the Workcover Ad of a new employee being told to sit at that desk there it will hurt your back you will be in terrible pain and ruin your life. Well that Ad we feel sure was about my case. I was a new employee complained from the start kept a diary of all the complaints. Was told by the Office Manager to get on with my work and that no one else has ever complained. The gas lift in the chair was broken I was told to find another though they aren’t much good either. After 4 weeks BANG an agonising sharp pain shot through my back. To cut a long story short I had herniated a disc. Had time of work told by the Office Manager to put in a Workcover claim explained I need my job being a new job as well told not to worry. All recorded in my diary. The start of a claim that was rejected until we went to the Conciliation Service and I got my claim. Everytime I see a Allianz Ad on telly I shudder. I have been abused, called a liar told by my case manager that to be quite honest it would be better if I killed myself save her paperwork and a lot of trouble. This after she saw I was suffering Major Depressive Disorder (workcover and pain related).

Well guess what Im still here and Im not going away. They cancelled my Workcover payment in 2009 saying that I could work dispite Dr’s,surgeons reports saying no but they found an Employment Agency to say I could. I have been without Workcover/Centrelink since 2010 as I couldn’t cope with forms and going over the same old story and paperwork. My mum and dad have been giving me 50.00 a week from their pension. I have been told by my solistior to hang in there. Well May 2012 it finally went to court for negligence or did it. I turn up to court sit in a court office for 2 weeks with my 2 barristers grilling me and putting me through the ropes as this will get far worse in there (court) I was told. The last day before court I collapsed went home with my parents and dreaded the next day for court. We turn up to court they had organised a jury. They paraded the Office Manager in front of me (I was told I would never see her trough the process. The barrister for the other side walked past us with her and said “this is an easy and simple open and shut case” then turned and glared at us. This is the same barrister that threatened my solicitor on 2 previous occasions to drop the case and also stood blatantly across from my pensioner mum and dad and glared at them. He also told my solicitor that they will crucify me if I didn’t walk away. We were called into court all sat down and the other side said they haven’t had enough time to prepare and don’t think there is enough time left in the court circuit ( 2 wks) to hear my case. The judge said if it will cause you embarrasment we will adjourn until next circuit. That was it we were all dismissed.

About 2 weeks before the next court circuit which was to be July my solicitor rang me. He felt along with the barristers that we couldn’t win the case as the Office Manager was denying all knowledge of any conversations with me pertaining to my injury. The Insurance company surgeon had also said I had illness phobia and I was to stop walking with a limp and not to use a walking stick. I have difficulty walking Im in pain nerves are damaged in my back and leg. I’ll just fall over then shall I. The solicitors bills came to 150,000 that he said he would cover as I had no income,savings or superannuation. So that was it they had won. Wheres the justice I have 2 serious injury certs and a judge had previously agreed it had happened at work. So my life went on.

Until 6 wks ago, I get a call from the solicitor to say they feel they have a chance of winning a case of workcover payments until Im 65 and back pay since 2009. How shall I pay for your fees I say they say don’t worry when we win we will take the fee from that money. Light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The other side mean while come back and say they will pay me back pay from Oct 2009 to May 2012 and that its it if I disappear. I thought I had had a hit put on me disappear! Not bloody likely. You have made my life hell for 7 yrs no way. The solicitor agreed and said he will be asking for back pay and pay until Im 65 and if I get it I will make damn sure I will last until Im 65.

I haven’t heard anything back from the solicitor and the court circuit was over in Oct 12. I rang and was told its not being heard in court till 3 Dec 12. Which means by all accounts (as the Receptionist explained ) both parties will sit down and have a chat.

I have been bullied, harrassed,called fat lazy female (in court).

Which I wasn’t overweight until I had my accident.I was a healthy weight very active into walking and cycling. I was 39 my own house very independent, healthy happy life and soul of the party. Im now 46 and sold my home in the 1st year of illness I don’t need pity just understanding that this wasn’t my fault that I reported on many occasions that I was unhappy with my work station. How can the other parties lie and get away with it.

I hope my situation will give others hope and you can be a Workcover Survivor

Thank you for taking the time to read my situation

12 Responses to “Injured worker called fat lazy female in court – WTF”

  1. so sorry to read your story which is so appalling though none of it surprises me..and without your parents your situation would be unimaginably worse-the evil and malice you are being subjected to frightening..thank you for sharing

  2. Thanks Pauline, lets first go to the appointment with ATO then I can have a clearer idea on what is going on.

  3. So sorry to hear your story.

    One thing that takes you down even more is the financial side of this bulling system. Your Lawyer said “when we win we will take the fee from that money” so that is not a “no win no fee Lawyer? Do you know you’ll give almost all your money to them, you will even have to return money to the Taxation Office because you will receive an HIGH income and that is no matter if that is the money from 2-3 or 4 years salary!

    This is another wrong punishment on injured workers, we get a reduced salary also no more chance to do overtimes, no Super, we pay the Lawyer and in addition there is the ATO waiting to punish you for earning too much money!!!

    • The lawyers get paid by the Workover when they win your case, so them taking money from you is like double-dipping, but they do. I paid out $15,000 in legal fees in all and was manipulated and forced to take a payment of $90,000 for a loss calculated to be ten times that! The tax department were very helpful and advised me to deal with the money under “capital gains” as it was such a huge loss. Sorry I forget the details of what they advised me to do, but I didn’t have to pay tax, they were pretty good.

      • Pauline thanks a lot!!!

        Introduction to capital gains tax – Exemptions

        Compensation or damages you receive for any:

        • Wrong or injury you suffered in your occupation.
        • Wrong injury or illness you or your relatives suffered.

        I’ll got to ATO and ask more information.

        This should be a sticky for all injured workers, at least we don’t have to pay MORE taxes on wages that the corrupted insurer didn’t pay for years because it unlawfully denied your claim!


        • I can recall that it was about the amount of compensation I’d claimed (over $1,000,000) vs. what I received – $90,000. Only the wage component counts, not the pain and suffering, that is exempt. But, get this, the Workover if you settle out of court won’t define a breakdown of the compensation into wages and pain and suffering. Point is I suffered a huge loss and so I paid no tax.

          Good luck with that.



          • I went to ATO, a representative explained me that the stupid accountant declared my 2 years of workcover wages all into 2012 so ATO saw that as an high income and punished me.

            They will look into my issue after I’ll demonstrate them that the income relates to the previous financial year too, hopefully I won’t pay more that I already have been paying financially and like all of us emotionally too.

            I’ll keep informed, I think this issue if very handy for all injured workers having a denied claim then they get all money in one step. Wish you all the best, always look forward and fight for your well being!

            • Please be careful when it comes to tax & amounts received. I have heard of too many stories of paying either too much tax or as detailed above, paying tax when you didnt need too. When you dont know the tax laws you put your trust in Tax Agents to know the correct things for your situation. But often, if they havent had to deal with the issue of compensation, they dont know  the in’s & out’s of what tax laws apply.

              If nothing else, the site has opened the conversation on taxation & compensation, so that more WCV’s will know to ask the questions.

            • In relation to my tax, I rang the ATO and got an official written decision about how to handle it, so up the right channels if you will. It was probably good luck that I got someone who knew the ins and outs of the system and what was available to me. Unfortunately, cos I’m homeless, I don’t have my records with me, or I could quote you chapter and verse.

  4. So sorry you have to go through all that. The adversarial process really does aim to destroy the injured worker, so cruel, so wrong. Truth and lies ….. there’s so much of the latter from the Workover gremlins. Hang in, hope all goes well at your next hearing.

  5. Wow!  My goodness! I must say, for all the hundreds of reports we read on what victim’s endure, it somehow still surprises me a ‘little’, with every new one I read.  I am sooooo proud of you for fighting on!!!!!  I will pray with all my mite for you to get what is rightfully yours on 3rd December!!!!!!  I believe you will get it too!  those barristers who are defending your employer, they know you have a strong case, they just use ‘scare tactics’ hoping you will ‘disappear;.  You are a true inspiration!