Workers compensation lawyers win $XY for a 42-year-old autistic gardener who suffered skin cancer.
The plaintiff was encouraged to go for a medical check-up by a relative who noticed spots and blemishes on his face and was subsequently found to have skin cancer on his face, neck and hands.
The plaintiff had to undergo chemotherapy for two months and the cancer is currently in a state of remission. He has lost his hair due to the effects of radiation treatment and will have to make repeat visits to the clinic for check-ups.
Prior to the fall the disease the plaintiff was a diligent worker. Despite his autism disability, he was rarely late or tardy performing his work and understood the tasks he was required to do in an ordered and systematic style. Despite his disability, co-workers understood his role and were found to be patient and supportive of the plaintiff. Since being diagnosed with the illness, he has developed a paranoia of light and outdoor activities. The plaintiff no longer works as a gardener and spends most of his time at home where family relatives visit on a regular basis to take care of him. He relies on Centrelink assistance to pay his board and lodging.
The court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to $XY compensation as his life had been heavily impacted by the illness. The psychological fallout of the disease meant it was unlikely the man would find gainful employment again as gardening was the only work he had ever been proficient in. Even if he was able to work again, this would probably only be possible after a sustained period of psychological counselling. The judge at court in Brisbane found that the man’s employers were negligent in failing to insist that the plaintiff wore a hat, gloves, sunscreen and/or long sleeves during years of employment working up to eight hours a day in the hot Queensland sun. The company had a duty of care in applying health and safety guidelines that were more perhaps more important to the plaintiff due to his autism challenges.