A MAN who says his penis and surrounding tissue swelled because his government employer made him sit in a small plane seat is among current and former public servants seeking compensation.
Another woman claimed to the taxpayer-funded insurer Comcare she suffered a psychological injury after she said colleagues laughed when she revealed she had suffered a bout of diarrhoea in the office toilet.
Comcare offered to pay part of another man’s $ 16,000 fitness bill after he said the gym and personal training helped with his workplace psychological injury and his “fear of people and strangers.”
The former public servant who claimed his genital condition was caused by being forced to sit for five hours in a small plane seat had his compensation bid rejected.
He appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with doctors reports showing due to his obesity his “penis became retracted into perineal fat folds” during the flight in March 2010.
The man later developed scrotal cellulitis, a life-threatening condition which required hospitalisation and hyper baric treatment, with the man also claiming compensation for partial deafness caused by antibiotics used during treatment.
A doctor found sitting in a cramped plane seat for five hours “would have contributed” to the development of the condition for a man who was obese.
The Tribunal last month dismissed the appeal, finding the flight did not contribute by “a significant degree” to the man’s illness.
In August the tribunal also dismissed an appeal by the female public servant who claimed an “anxiety state” after she told colleagues she had been in the bathroom for 20 minutes with diarrhoea in September 2010.
At the time the workers in her department were only allowed to be absent from their desks without explanation for ten minutes and the woman said her anxiety disorder commenced from her feeling “embarrassed” by a colleague.
After that and a later incident in which her work was questioned, she said she “felt stressed, emotionally drained, angry, (had) difficulty sleeping and increasing headache.”
A man who was compensated for his adjustment disorder which was suffered at work in 2007 was offered a free $ 750 gym membership and $ 480 worth of personal training support by Comcare.
He appealed to the Tribunal seeking almost $ 16,000 to refund what he had spent on personal trainers which he claimed helped his psychological injury.
Comcare told the tribunal the man had “exaggerated his sense of isolation and his need for a personal trainer.”
The Tribunal agreed Comcare should cover six personal training sessions to introduce the man to the gym, which it agreed Comcare should pay for, but rejected the man’s claim for compensation for his entire personal fitness bill.
“We find that it was not medical treatment for the purposes of the Act,” the Tribunal said.