Injured worker awarded $725,000 for erectile dysfunction

sex-injured-workers

A young truck driver who developed marriage-destroying erectile dysfunction after injuring his back carrying up to 40 kilograms of timber has won a $725,000 payout in the ACT Supreme Court.

It is good that the media writes about such successful cases, however the manner in which this case is portrayed in the media is almost as if this (poor) injured worker simply received K725 for no longer being able “to get it up”! Not so guys!Pain and suffering consequences are a matter of balancing between what an injured worker has lost and what has been retained. It isn’t simply compensation for “loss of erectile function”, but a myriad of devastating consequences of a serious injury, including how the injured worker’s life style has been affected.
So basically, the conventional yardstick in determining whether the pain and suffering (and economic loss where applicable) consequences meet a certain statutory testing, or attracts a certain compensation payout, is to determine what the injured worker has lost, and in doing so, one can be informed of what has been lost by what has potentially been retained.

sex-injured-workers

Worker awarded $725,000 for erectile dysfunction

A young truck driver working for FAW Industries injured his back whilst being required to carrying up to 40 kilograms of timber planks on his shoulders in order to load them on to his truck.

The injury left him unable to return to work for FAW Industries.

As a result of his back injury the young worker developed erectile dysfunction which lead to the breakdown of his marriage to his wife whom he meet shortly after the accident.

The ACT Supreme Court found on the expert evidence that the worker’s injury was caused by the employer’s unsafe system and unsafe workplace. The worker was given no training, and the company was found to have little in the way of an occupational health and safety policy or system.

The Court determined that the young worker must be compensated for his erectile dysfunction. The Court also accepted that the young worker would suffer back pain for the rest of his life that it would deteriorate and require surgery in the future.

The ACT Supreme court awarded the worker a total payout of $725,000.

Driver gets $725,000 for work injury causing erectile dysfunction

The Canberra Times February 20, 2014
Christopher Knaus

A truck driver who developed marriage-destroying erectile dysfunction after injuring his back carrying up to 40 kilograms of timber has won a $725,000 payout.

The man, then aged 27, began working for FAW Industries as a truck driver in 2002 and was responsible for deliveries and moving materials between its sites in Mitchell and Yass.

He said he was given no training, and the company was found to have little in the way of an occupational health and safety policy or system.

In September 2002, the driver was working at the Mitchell site, carrying two 15- to 20-kilogram planks on his shoulder and placing them into the truck.

He was forced to walk over knee-high stacks of wood to reach the timber he needed.

He felt a sharp pain in his back as he stepped off one of the stacks of wood, still carrying two planks on his shoulder.

It was described as the ”worst pain he had ever felt”, and he said it was as though his whole spine had knotted up.

The driver thought he would be able to get the truck back to Yass, but began to feel pins and needles and a burning sensation in both legs as he drove.

The injury left him unable to return to work for FAW Industries.

He was eventually laid off as an employee, and received worker’s compensation, medical expenses and some physiotherapy.

Two years later, the man developed erectile dysfunction.

After the accident, he began seeing a woman who would eventually become his wife. But the relationship broke down, with the worker blaming his injury and its impact on their sex life.

He struggled to find suitable work, became angry and depressed, and started drinking.

The worker, represented by Capital Lawyers senior partner Daniel Steiner, took his case to the ACT Supreme Court, where Master David Harper presided over the hearing about 10 years after the injury.

Master Harper delivered his judgment this week, and said he found the injured worker to be an ”honest and truthful witness with no particular emotional axe to grind”.

His evidence about the circumstances surrounding the injury was not really challenged by the company, although it disputed liability and the amount of damages being sought.

But Master Harper found the company to be responsible for the injury.

”I am satisfied on the expert evidence that the injury to the plaintiff was relevantly caused by the defendant’s unsafe system and unsafe place of work,” he said.

Master Harper also accepted that the man would suffer back pain for the rest of his life, and it may deteriorate and require surgery in the future. He also said the man must be compensated for his erectile dysfunction.

A total payout of $725,000 was awarded, and the company is entitled to judgment against its two insurers for the amount.

[Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/driver-gets-725000-for-work-injury-causing-erectile-dysfunction-20140219-331cs.html]

 

[Post by Madame Zena & WCV]

 



This post has been seen 653 times.

2 Responses to “Injured worker awarded $725,000 for erectile dysfunction”

  1. Does seem a big award. Good for him but.
    Bet you wouldn’t get that sort of pay out from workcover in Victoria.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • @Vic Injured
      The awards in common law damages claims in the ACT will always appear significantly larger than in other States because in the ACT past and future “medical and like expenses” have to be included in the award. These will typically run into the many $100s of thousands of dollars.

      In other States you only claim damages for pain & suffering and/or economic loss. Medical and like expenses are continued to be covered on an ongoing basis and paid through the WorkCover statutory benefit scheme and don’t form part of the common law damages claim.

      In this case, a young worker who was incapacitated for life, was only awarded $140,000 for pain & suffering which is in line with the awards for pain & suffering in other States.

      This judgement includes over 1/4 million dollars in past and future domestic assistance alone; again in other States domestic assistance would continue to be paid through the statutory scheme and would not form part of a common law damages claim.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0