As a leading team of workers compensation lawyers in Melbourne, Maxiom Injury Lawyers have a track record of success in securing compensation for clients who have suffered work-related injuries. Recently, Sach Fernando and the team at Maxiom Injury Lawyers achieved a pre-litigated award of nearly $1m in damages for a young man who suffered from work-related psychiatric injuries. The case was brought against the employer and their customer. 

During a 12-month period, the Plaintiff was responsible for addressing issues from customers caused due to defects in the First Defendant’s equipment. During this time the Plaintiff was subjected to an unreasonable and excessive workload, and was required to manage complaints by customers. The Plaintiff was required to work excessive hours to resolve the defects; undertake urgent and excessive international, interstate and local travel to resolve the defects; undertake mechanical repairs to resolve the defects; and resolve the defects within unreasonably short timeframes. Additionally, he was subjected to intimidating and hostile conduct including direct and indirect threats of violence by an employee of a customer. These threats were evident in several emails from the customer to the Plaintiff. The employer was aware of the behaviour of its customer towards the Plaintiff.

Despite reporting his concerns, the Plaintiff was required by the employer to work with the person who was responsible for the threatening and intimidating behaviour.   

As a result of the workplace stress and the intimidating treatment from the customer, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, stress, anxiety, depression and a panic disorder. He underwent various psychiatric and psychological treatments, including the use of medicinal cannabis.  At the time of settlement, however, the Plaintiff had ceased all treatment.  

The First Defendant argued that the risk of psychiatric injury was not reasonably foreseeable and therefore no duty of care arose to the Plaintiff. They relied on the High Court case of Kholer v Cerebos (Australia) Ltd (2005). We argued that this case could be distinguished due to the threatening, bullying or intimidatory behaviour of an employee of the Second Defendant, which required the Plaintiff to work long and excessive hours. In addition, we argued that the second Defendant was vicariously liable for the actions of its employee who threatened the Plaintiff. 

If you or someone you know has suffered from work-related injuries, it is important to seek help from experienced workers compensation lawyers. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Melbourne always work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.