Monday, June 27, 2011

Horrific Workplace Injury (Part 2)

Cecil Steptoe made a common-law claim for workplace injuries.
This claim was lodged several weeks after he finished work.
No report of injury was ever made to his employer.
He did not seek initial medical attention for the injuries until Three weeks after he had ended his employment.
The claim was for $410,000 (Four Hundred and Ten Thousand Dollars).

His claim stated that he entered a guest room at the hotel, to replace a faulty castor wheel on the ensemble bed.
Using his knee to raise the ensemble bed a few inches, he unscrewed the faulty wheel by hand and screwed in the new one.
(This story is false. Cecil Steptoe didn't do any work even when specifically instructed to. He would never have done any work, no matter how minor, on his own initiative. Had he entered the room with his boss, he would have remained idle and watched sourly as the boss did the work.)

Some days after replacing the faulty castor wheel (according to his claim) he experienced pain & discomfort just above his knee, in the leg he had used to lift the ensemble bed.

The Medical Evidence stated that:
The injury was a non-specific soft tissue injury.
The injury was unable to be detected by any known diagnostic method/implement/device, not by sight, ultrasound, pressing to see if he yelled, x-ray, or any other method.
The injury did not manifest itself every day.
(This last was added when Mine Host, as part of discovery, put in his observation that Cecil Steptoe did not always limp, at least not on the same leg, and furthermore it hadn't prevented him on several occassions from playing cricket most vigorously on the beach with a group of schoolteachers)

Discovery, as part of the legal process, is nothing more than an innocent target being forced to tip off a vexatious or lying complainant about holes in their fake complaint, thus allowing said complaint to be adjusted accordingly.

Workcover (the insurers) and their legal firm, both contacted Mine Host. After rapidly dispensing with their rantings, ravings & threats over the employer having not submitted any paperwork, or even filled out an injury report (the employee having never reported the injury didn't seem to readily register with them) they then got down to brass tacks:-

There would be a "conference" between Workcover & solicitors on one hand, and on the other the Claimant & some slimeball personal injury lawyer. A lady from Workcover telephoned Mine Host & informed him that it is "nice" if the employer can come to the conference, and "input from the employer" is appreciated in such conferences.

Mine Host raised the spectre of the cost (in time & money) that would be incurred were he to travel to Brisbane for this conference. The Workcover lady was unable to process the concept that not eveybody lives in, or within easy reach of, the capital city.
She became even more unsettled when Mine Host gave some idea of what his input would be:

Mine Host provided a quick opinion on the probity, ethics, & usefulness to society of the slimeball law firm representing the Claimant (it was obvious that Mine Host, were he to be present, would "unload" this character opinion at the conference) also gave an (accurate) character reference on the Complainant, followed by a rather acidic observation on Workcover themselves, who were not even challenging the (cough) medical evidence listed above.

This all made the Workcover lady most uncomfortable, especially when Mine Host stated that Cecil Steptoe "wouldn't be forgetting which leg to limp on" - that was, not if he rode up to the conference in the same lift as Mine Host.

When the conference occured it was without Mine Host being present - the invitation probably got lost in the mail or something.
The claim was settled for circa $150,000 - Mine host's worker's compensation insurance consequently went up by $20,000 per year (due to Mine Host's newfound bad workplace injury record)

Workcover did not provide any information to Mine Host about his options for appeal, or to force a review of the matter. That these avenues had even existed was only discovered some years later. This omission was deliberate.

The legislation which allowed this type of claim to happen was brought in by former Premier Peter Beattie. Mine Host struggles with the idea that someone deliberately created legislation that does little but provide a fat living to lowlife personal injury lawyers, at the expense of the taxpayers of Queensland. The Queensland Worker's Compensation scheme is now broke. All the money has gone in uncontested payouts in cases such as this one. Most of the money goes to personal injury lawyers, who could not get such cases off the ground without a medical professional who is prepared to perjure themself.
The supine staff at the worker's compensation scheme are just as complicit in this, and more so those who call the shots at Qcomp.

It is enough to cause people who actually work for a living to vomit.

This claim is far from the largest that has been claimed from Mine Host. None of the cases involve someone who was actually, you know, injured at work.

No comments: