Not everybody who claims for compensation is as deserving, or even fits the parameters of that scheme of compensation, as others. In Sydney and around Australia, there have been plenty of bizarre compensation claims that would have seen even the most experienced compensation lawyer scratching their head in confusion. These are our top three:
1. Penis Problems: In March 2010, an obese public servant was on a flight for work. He claimed that he was forced to sit in a small, cramped seat for five hours and these conditions led to his genitals and the surrounding area to swell. His initial bid for compensation was rejected, so he tried again with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. At this appeal he brought forth doctor’s notes that stated his penis had actually retracted into his fat folds, later developing into scrotal cellulitis, which can be life-threatening, and he suffered partial deafness as a result of taking antibiotics to treat it. The tribunal, however, felt that the flight didn’t contribute enough to the man developing the condition and dismissed the appeal.
2. Toilet Anxiety: In September 2010, a woman spent 20 minutes on the toilet at work as a result of diarrhea. In her workplace, she could only be away for a maximum of ten minutes without an explanation, so she had to explain to a colleague about her downstairs difficulties. She became quite embarrassed and anxious over the matter. A little while later, her work was called into question and she became more anxious, as well as developing headaches and finding it difficult to sleep at night. However, the Tribunal dismissed her appeal.
3. Free Fitness: A man claimed compensation for a workplace psychological injury that left him with a fear of people and strangers, though he’d found that working out at the gym helped. He was offered by Comcare a $750 gym membership, along with $480 worth of personal training support, although he tried to claim a full $16,000 which he’d spent on personal training. The Tribunal found that he’d overexaggerated his need for a personal trainer to help with his condition, meaning Comcare didn’t need to cover all his gym expenses.