CGU workcover insurer films wrong injured worker to discredit comp claim


CGU workcover insurer secretly filmed a wrong injured worker for ‘surveillance’ purposes in a (fully sick and undoubtedly disguised) attempt to discredit the genuine injured worker’s workcover claim. Was it not for a most ethical Dr Timothy Wood this poor injured worker’s claim would have been jeopardised, more so as the covert surveillance was undertaken at the famous 130 week (weekly pay cut-off) mark.

While this article was submitted earlier today by “Bullied” under our “Seen Something Interesting?” page, we believe it ought to be plastered on our (and every like-minded site) front page.

cgu-logo1According to CGU workers comp website:

Sustaining an injury at work can be a stressful time. CGU will work with you, your doctor and your employer to make your return to work as smooth and safe as possible.

We will support you through the process and help you understand your rights and obligations and any workers compensation benefits that you may be entitled to.

We’re here to help give you all the support you need to get back on your feet and ensure you can get on with your life.

CGU workcover insurer films wrong injured worker to discredit comp claim

Doctor claims CGU filmed wrong patient in a covert operation to discredit compensation claim

April 21, 2015 8:00PM

An insurer’s [CGU] secret surveillance of an injured worker has been foiled by a doctor claiming they had filmed the wrong patient [/injured worker].

Amanda Bailey became aware she was the target of a covert operation after an expert report revealed she was caught up in a potential case of mistaken identity.

In his report to insurer CGU, workers compensation physician Timothy Wood said he was “concerned the photographs shown as being Ms Bailey are not in fact Ms Bailey”.

“They do not appear to be the same person I examined today and I would request clarification as to whether this was indeed Ms Bailey in the photographs,” Dr Wood said.

“Certainly, the level of function demonstrated by the person in the various photos is something I have been unable to demonstrate during the two examinations and do not believe that Ms Bailey is capable of.”

Ms Bailey suffers pain throughout her body as a result of injuring her thumb while working at Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL in 2010.

The report, part of her 130-week WorkCover review, said Ms Bailey was unable to return to work and described walking “as though she had glass under her foot”.

Ms Bailey’s lawyers are now demanding a copy of the surveillance report and other communication.

But CGU declined, in letters, to release the surveillance.

A spokesman said the company couldn’t discuss “details of individual claims, legal proceedings or personal information due to privacy provisions”.

Robinson Gill principal Jeremy King said Ms Bailey’s claim could’ve been “seriously jeopardised through CGU’s actions but for the vigilance of Dr Wood”.



Arguably, sometimes private investigators are given an address with no description of the claimant (the injured sod), and sometimes the address given to them may be wrong. On the other hand the investigator/s may have simply stuffed up. We don’t know the full facts of this case of mistaken identity and so we can’t comment on what went wrong.

However whilst one may believe this to be -purely- a case of ‘mistaken’ identify and perhaps from a less than professional private investigator (It just shows  how good they are at their job, = LOUSY clowns), in our injured opinion this is yet another deliberate dirty tactic used by workcover insurers, such as CGU to mitigate ‘damages and loss’.  Over the years we have heard a number of stories from bewildered and outraged injured workers who obtained their surveillance material (under FOI) showing that a ‘stranger’ was filmed. One one occasion it was the twin brother of an injured worker, and at a push we may forgive this case of ‘mistaken’ identity, but on several other occasions they really truly filmed and followed complete strangers. If that’s not enough, please tell us why in our modern digital world, many surveillance video’s and pictures appear ‘grainy’? But their cameras can zoom in to a pimple?

We also know through a lawyer that the person who was surveilled should enquire about the footage though! Because it must be deleted immediately. The person should inform the CGU insurance company that if the video’s are retained or broadcasted in any way what-so-ever, they can expect legal response$
At least we all have the satisfaction of knowing that CGU and its spies have wasted an awful lot of time, effort and dollars watching the wrong subject and as a bonus the real injured worker has also been warned


35 Responses to “CGU workcover insurer films wrong injured worker to discredit comp claim”

  1. I’m currently on Workers Comp and having to deal with CGU. Has been ongoing. I mentioned earlier on to my lawyer could they be video taping me and he said they probably aren’t, but I find that highly doubtful. Can I request all video/audio surveillance they have? If so, how please?

    • @David, you certainly can and are entitled to. We have some sample letters on this site to request audio/video and anything else. You can download sample letters too: see

      Request copies of workcover documents under Freedom of Information (or Accident Compensation Act)
      Example letter 1 to request copies of workcover documents:

      To Whom It May Concern (Insurer/ Claims Manager /etc)

      Under the Freedom Of Information, Section 107 of the Accident Compensation Act (VIC). I hereby request my file unabridged and complete. I request all notes on computer file, notebook or note pad. I request all photography and surveillance notes – still video –all audio recordings, connected to my file, not just audio file of myself, but all audio file where my claim is the main topic of discussion. Please send this as soon as possible to (yourself, or Legal Firms name and address, or G.P. name and address )
      Claim name and number.

      Good luck!

  2. Just got my latest FOI and the surveillance reveals me visiting a friends place. The PI runs the address of the property and not only describes the people observed but puts them names into the report. Is this aloowed. I think it breaches their privacy. The report clearly states there is no work activities so it seems they are just trying to establish some form of inaccuracy in my medical condition and my activities (which there’s not). People are observed, I get that but what right do they have going to such lenghts to provide identification details bc clearly there’s nothing really relevant as to why they would need it? Also how often is surveillance considered reasonable. They’ve been doing it before an IME appointment and given the’ve made a few of those in the last 6 mths but this is becoming every few months fr about 3 days at a time. I know they are gunning for me but this is getting ridiculous. Has anyone got a restraining order on their Case Manager and how do you go about it???

    • Hey Lily,

      No, there’s nothing wrong with the behaviour described. What do you mean by breaches their privacy? Was this in a confidential report?

      A surveillance operative is allowed to document whatever they see, and if they have been engaged to report on someone, that can include anywhere that person goes, or anyone that person meets.

  3. @Jo, LOL I certainly doubt it. I just got an old FOI and QBE couldn’t even process FOI requests because they were under-resourced. The Claims Managers aren’t exactly the best or the brightest. I’d be guessing the Technical Managers didn’t make it in Corporate Law and the Medical Advisors well….must I go on 😉

  4. Hi Jo,

    Do u know how to get a good VPN. I’m sure they do hack this site regularly to check on us?

    • @Lily – it is standard practice for workcover (PIs, insurers, case managers etc) to undertake ‘internet’ searches about YOU. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Flickr etc. See our social network warning.
      This site has previously been heavily snooped upon by worksafe victoria, and some high shot defense lawyers. We know this because our secure log files show who accesses our site, and big companies such as workcover, their agents and big law firms are easily traced by IP address and even the name of their company is displayed upon visiting our site. Saying that since we removed our private sections such as our private forums, there has been a lot less interest in our site. When we had private forums we were infiltrated x 2 by case managers and 1 X PI under disguise. This led to the eradication of our real and great little social club! There is no stopping such behaviour, hence we decided to keep everything public. As long as you follow the key points in our social network warning, you should be OK. For those most paranoids, we highly recommend you use opposed to a VPN

      • Good advice. A caveat or two though.

        Hope this doesn’t get too technical and boring for most, but it’s a highly technical subject – I’ll do my best 🙂

        There are devices on the TOR network called “Exit Nodes”. They are the on-ramp into the TOR network for your computer. The issue here, is that the Exit Node has visibility of all of your traffic that goes in & out of the TOR network. They can literally see everything you do. This is why using TOR as your general browser isn’t a great idea, and using it on a non-SSL website (like this one), isn’t going to do a lot to protect you, as the Exit Node that you connect to can see your traffic.

        What this means in real terms, there’s nothing to stop the Australian (or any other State) Government running a whole bunch of exit nodes and using those to gather information on people’s internet behaviour.

        Is it likely they’d do that?

        Is it likely they’d do that for the purposes of Workcover investigations?
        Probably not.

        Key takeaways:
        – Always use SSL where possible. Being able to see the communications between you and is all good and well, but if all they’re getting is encrypted data, it’s not going to do much to help
        – Never use the same passwords on multiple sites. Something like LastPass which encrypts your passwords locally (and doesn’t have an ‘I forgot my password’ option) is a great move. You can have ridiculously complicated passwords without having the trouble of having to remember them.
        – All the encryption and strong passwords in the world are going to do SFA if the owner of the website hands information over to someone asking for it.
        – Possibly most importantly, just because you haven’t put your real name on this website (or maybe you have?), it doesn’t mean someone motivated enough isn’t going to be able to find out who you are and use some seemingly anonymous post against you. If you write some random post about “the prick in the green coat who followed me through Melbourne Central last week”, just because you haven’t given your name, do you think it’s going to be too difficult for say, Workcover, to cross reference any complaints filed in the last few days regarding surveillance in Melbourne Central? Or even look through reports of surveillance operatives who entered Melbourne Central? Bang. Your “anonymous ID” on this website is now linked to your real name.

        Ultimately, just make a judgment call on anything you do online. “Could what I say jeopardise myself or anyone else if it were to fall into the wrong hands? – Workcover, police, communists” If the answer is yes, then maybe decide whether it’s really imperative to say at all.

        • @McAwesome, some valid points here, but has highlighted on our social network warning if you keep to the following points you should be as safe as can be:


          -Please use a nickname and not your real name
          -Please use an alias email (set up for the purpose, i.e. Yahoo, Hotmail etc) and not your personal email. Or use a fake email (i.e.
          Write your comments or questions in such a way that you can not be identified in the real world (i.e change gender, use third party person such as ‘my friend has a problem…).
          Don’t write details of your case, including specifics of injury, names of doctors, dates of hearings/appointments etc. Don’t share your phone number, address etc. (If you want to get in touch with a fellow injured worker, we can connect you in a safe way)

          General recommendations:

          Do Not…

          -Do not allow anyone to become a “friend” on a website like Facebook (or forum) unless you are absolutely sure you know that person.
          -Do not post any photographs or video of yourself (or enable others to “tag” you)
          Do not write or disclose anything about your personal life that you would be embarrassed to have a defense lawyer use against you in front of a judge and/or jury
          -Do not send e-mails regarding details of your case to anyone except your lawyer(s)
          -Do not send texts regarding your case to anyone except your lawyer(s)
          -Do not enter (workcover) insurance websites
          -Do not participate in forums, chat-rooms, or message boards

          As explained earlier, workcover et al are crawling all over the place (cyber) and are very curious of blogs like a workcovervictimsdiary, the Injured workers Support Network, the Heretic Press etc. We have all learned the hard way, and that is: the more you try to hide content, such as a forum that requires log-in, the more likely workcover will enter it, under disguise or otherwise. To them everything that is ‘secret’ is a potential gold mine. This is the very reason we ceased our Facebook page (we have nothing to hide but it provides the snoopers with links to our ‘friends’; it is also the reason why we ceased or popular (at the time) private forums and our real live social club. As long as you are mindful of what you write (no identification possible) and use a fake email address (or an alias) you’re OK. Do NOT get fooled into participating on ‘secure’ online forums , there is simply no way to secure it. People will make up the most credible stories, and for long period of times, to gain your ‘trust’ (or the admin’s forum trust); and to our shock a PI managed to not only enter our private forums (gained trust) but also attended a social club meeting, providing a FAKE workcover claim form (as ID check). How’s that? What those sad f***cks did not realise is that there was nothing to discover, other than very severely injured workers.

          Over the past 4 years or so we have never had a case reported that was linked to the use of our site, however it has happened to a like-minded site, where an injured worker was identified and accused of all sorts, incl their ‘ability to type long comments’ (= can work, as if!)

        • @McAwesome good advice, yes don’t be to specific with dates and places or descriptions, Dates can be called recently (no date), Places – A shopping centre (no name), Descriptions – The person (no sex)
          Another trick they can do is copy comments, letters etc here and run it through software designed to match writing types they have on record, a similar software to what Universities use to catch plagiarism. There’s even software to analyse your voice during a Phone call which tries to recognise if you’re telling Porky Pies.
          I don’t know if these Insurers have any tech like that yet or not?

        • I will not live in fear of ANYONE – be it case managers, PI’s, workcover, the government in general, employer’s, or anyone who chooses to bully me. Why won’t I live in fear? well, it just goes against my grain.

          • @Just me and others – you should not have to live in fear as long as you’re honest (nothing to hide). As Erin Brockovich personally told me: “there is no need to be afraid and to fear workcover insurance companies and case managers. You are the power! And together we (injured workers) can make the insurance companies very afraid of us!”
            I certainly was not afraid of anybody, hence I plastered my own picture on this (my) blog, and they sure did ‘identify’ me. But there was just nothing ‘to hold against me’, zilch. Not even ‘surveillance’. I think from memory there was a comment or 2 made about the fact that I can ‘write’ (blog) and therefore ‘work’. Good one, especially if you consider that all my articles were and are manually transcribed for me, as well as my ‘longer’ comments and I do/did have evidence of that. In the end I also know that the insurer (workcover et al) ‘truly felt sorry for what has happened to me’… Came a little late after having experienced so much grief, harassment, belittlement and humiliation at the hands the insurer et al. In fact had I not been treated like a criminal this blog would never have existed! It kept me (somewhat) sane, and undoubtedly keeps a lot of you sane-ish.

            The message is: do NOT EVER be afraid of the workcover insurers (et al), they’re just pathetic, bluffing and uncaring folks (most of them) and trained to focus on MONEY rather than compassion, empathy and humanity. Face them head up, but ensure you know your rights (as well as their dirty scheming)

            [dictated forgive spelling mistakes]

            • Hi workcover victim. I too would have never come on this site had I not been treated like a criminal. But this site has certainly provided an insight into the truth of how disgusting the workcover system is. What I find really hard to accept is how the government has fixed it so well for the insurance companies – I don’t believe anything or anyone will fix the system. Despite the system, Injured workers must NEVER be silent, injured workers MUST ALWAYS be able to make claims and stand up for a safe workplace. And if the powers that be don’t like it than instead of turning a blind eye and abusing their power they should use their authority to ensure workplaces are safe so injuries don’t happen in the first place. Oh and I don’t care if they want to track me on here, facebook or anywhere else – I too have nothing to hide.

            • Dear Workcovervictim,when you really think about it we do have the power we just have to learn how to handle it.Without us injuried workers where do these case managers go every morning,how would these IME earn the big bucks,how would half the medical system survive.Everytime I go to an IME and they treat me like shit I say to them you are on that side of the desk earning the big dollars because im sitting on the other side so please treat me and speak to me with the respect I deserve,they look at you I then proceed to say how many of them sitting in your waiting room do you have to see to make up for one of me.

    • As Workcovervictim3 wrote Tor browser is good and very cheap 😉 FREE! There are plenty of things out there to change your IP address if you look, even being able to look like you are WorkCover or whoever you want. I recently had my email hacked which I still don’t know how it was done, luckily it was just a prank by an old online friend who changed my display name. I didn’t even know until I got a reply from a sent email.
      There are many vpn providers around because of privacy concerns, they allow you to virtually change your location IP address all over the world; good if you want to watch content from another country that blocks other countries, also blocks our Governments metadata collection.

  5. Only going to comment on the ‘grainy’ query you’ve raised in the post.

    Surveillance operatives need to weigh up portability, concealability, cost, and effectiveness in the equipment they use for a particular job.

    A lot of surveillance operatives wont use still cameras, they’ll use a video camera and extract stills from that at a later date (the master copy of evidence is only going to ever be the video recording in that instance). Video cameras don’t have the same zoom lenses that you might find on a DSLR camera.

    It’s just not feasible to put a tripod mounted DSLR on the roof of the car with a 60cm long lens attached to it. It would completely negate the intention of covert surveillance.

    If footage is recorded in low light conditions, the problems are compounded. To be able to take photos in low light without a flash (flashes obviously aren’t a viable option), you need to increase the aperture and use a slower ISO speed in order to maintain a fast enough shutter speed to keep photos in focus. Aperture is no problem for person surveillance, especially over a long distance, as you don’t need to generally worry too much about focus of objects too far in front or behind a subject, but ISO speed has a dramatic effect on the final image quality (slower ISO speeds add substantial noise to an image).

    Here’s a good example

  6. @Jo, yes it’s really sad bc a lot of this is completely unnecessary, unwarranted and unlawful. It’s just strategies to mess with our heads and to terminate by falisifying and manipulating circumstance reports. Someone here posted about a Medical Pael Decision where IME’s are not to comment on surveillance video unless they reinterview the worker or have the worker comment on the surveillance. That didn’t happen with me either. We haven’t heard back from Admin here about whether anyoone has successfully obtained a Restraining Order. Good tip about it having to be against an individual. If u ever go down that path do it on the Managing Director of the Company, as it’s only Directors of Companies who are legally accountable for the actions of the Company. If u want to post on here something that can’t be trraced back to you just do it from a friends computer or phone and don’t give identifying info in the post linked to your case. Also just keep changing your name so they can’t easily identiy you.

    As for WorkCover and any of their Agents reading this now, I would like to extend my middle finger in the all Aussie salute and wish you all the Karma that life can throw your way, just like your slimy little CEO who got what she deserved!!!

    • @Lily, re the ‘restraining order’ on case managers, those letters published on our ‘workcover letters’ page are very REAL. We just took names out. I (as well as Workcovervictim and many injured workers) were most successful in their requests that no direct communication occurs.

      I wrote a registered letter (+email and cc’d to CM manager, Complaints Dept insurer) along the lines of:

      I write to you in relation to our recent conversation(s) date x and x
      I suffer from a serious permanent physical and psychological injury; and your continual inappropriate and frankly harassing telephone (and email) communications with me only aggravate my condition.

      From this date forward I request that ALL communications are to be in writing and go through my treating psychologist, Ms X .

      (Psyh’s details)

      Do not communicate with me directly in any way shape or form, no telephone calls, no letters, no emails.

      You have been put on notice and failing to do so will result in an application for an Intervention Order against you and/or any staff from [insurer] that tries to contact me directly.


      encl. letter form my treating psych

    • Hi Lily, I remember the clerk of Courts telling me he had a lot of people seek a restraining order against case managers for stalking and said the Insurers would just change the case manager.
      I’m not to worried about identification atm, I can use a vpn service if needed. I suspect the hack that was done on this website a while back now was to try and collect identification information and IP addresses to try and match to peoples emails they had sent to insurers.
      The last Medical panel I attended said they had not been given any surveillance footage or reports, I was totally honest with them and told them some of the stuff that had been done to me and they read the full IME reports that the Insurer had taken exerts out of context to cut me off payments, Long story short they were less than impressed with what had been going on and this was reflected in their decision.
      I have now been diagnosed with a couple of chronic mental conditions from my injury and treatment from the Insurer, I am now contemplating asking a legal firm if it is worth me taking legal action for extra pain and suffering as I only went for physical pain and suffering a few years ago?

      • If you believe you are being stalked by a Case Manager, you should probably be speaking to a lawyer. Bear in mind there is a difference between being under surveillance, and being stalked. Just because you don’t want someone taking surveillance videos of you, that doesn’t immediately make it illegal.

        If, however, you are being stalked, and you file for a restraining order against the stalker, you probably should consider speaking with the lawyer/LEO’s about getting a restraining order that covers the entity that engaged them.

        • Its damn illegal when the Bastard come onto your property! Smooshing their oily noses up against your windows to see whats inside, maybe thats why my insurer chose not to use footage of me? Oh and the footage that showed me in public having difficulty went missing eventually! Lucky I have copies of them in case they need it 😉

          • You should call the police immediately if this happens. This is not a Workcover complaint, and shouldn’t be going through any internal Workcover process review. This is illegal, and it’s a matter for the police to deal with.

          • they would only do it once. then they would need to employ someone else to replace them

            contract killer July 21, 2015 at 8:54 pm
  7. Hahaha I have some tales of theses PI’s too, like following and filming my Wife and kids, Reporting on imaginary people where I lived, doing background checks on friends and family members, Oh and a grainy photo of a friend helping me with some maintenance in the yard(I saw them from my Kitchen Window taking the Photo while making him a coffee) the list goes on….

    • @Jo, who was the Agent involved? There might be a pattern. Did u get a copy of the reports under FOI? Do u know what PI firm it was? Also a good idea to take video/pics of them whilst they are taking video of you or others. Grab their rego and report them to the Police.

      I shall collect some fresh dog poo and throw it at them next time I see them! 🙂

      • Hi Lily, At the time I received copies of surveillance reports I looked into the anti-stalking laws but I could only apply to the Courts on individual people not companies. I looked into taking legal action against the surveillance companies for Trespass but was told it wouldn’t be worth it and they would only get a slap on the wrist. Thinking about it later I suppose you would be best to have anti-stalking Court order served upon the Insurers CEO so it was illegal for his company to spy on you? And they would have a Police record for Stalking?
        I’m reluctant to name the Insurer as I found out recently this site is very well monitored by Workcover looking to link people to Insurers etc My Insurer used a few investigation companies but I think all of them are under pressure to find anything whether true or not; One of the last surveillance people watching me complained in a report to the Insurer that they didn’t see me for the days they watched and it would be better if they could draw me out of the House somehow “What the Hell” I think I was ill those days?
        If having an injury isn’t enough the stress from surveillance and dodgy Insurers really messes you up mentally, it did me anyway.

  8. CGU are one of the most unethical insurers I have come across, Their case managers are not appropriately trained and have no clue what they are doing, this article does not surprise me at all

    • @MrsCoda, so very true… I have met one of my case workers and she didn’t look to be much over 20 if that…
      How these workers can understand any of what injured people go through and need is beyond me… All caseworkers should be educated in rehabilitation and have some sort of medical background..

  9. That money that is wasted could be better spent providing essential services to severely injured workers, instead they piss it away with their stupid deliberate strategies to circumvent the Law. Just arseholes and why oh why don’t the VWA do anything……PATHETIC!

    • Dear Peedoff,mate they make toooooo much money out of us that’s everyone except us,injuried workers are a big money spinner.They treat us like shit to put it mildly but make so much money from us.

      • @Tony, and that maybe their final undoing. I have a plan that make shake the shit out of the arseholes. Not ready to let it out of the bag yet but I’ll contact you all when the time is right.

  10. CGU had surveillance ever two years for well over a decade now. They have a good history:

    1. Car disappears from house and left up road … Searching at site where it was found up the road (trying to find my keys) the next morning and they were there to film me … Hmmmmm
    2. Videod me while police finger printed my car outside my house.
    3. Videod the wrong house for a day
    4. Videod and followed my partner and the kids
    5. Videoed my son and his cricket team and not me
    6. Videod someone else
    7. Exaggerated reports and state they saw things that aren’t in the video
    8. Broken road rules to video me
    9. Edited videos
    10. Entered my back yard to film me in the lounge room out the back