A HEARING impaired Queensland miner is suing Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction PTY LTD for more than $1.8 million after alleged bullying incidents saw him labelled a "little bitch", "deaf f*ckwit" and "fat bastard" by his superiors.
The 39-year-old trades assistant claims the manager, supervisor and fleet co-ordinator at his mining camp had begun bullying him just one month after he commenced work in mid-2013. The man asserts the trio would swear at him and allow employees to place derogatory cartoons and images of him in the crib room. They also allegedly allowed staff to make insulting comments about his hearing disability and the consequent "mumbling nature" of his language.
"(The three people) stated to the plaintiff words to the effect of 'Where is your f*cking hearing aid you deaf ---?'," a claim lodged with the Supreme Court at Rockhampton reads. "(They) often referred to the plaintiff as 'Sully' which was a reference to a large monster out of the movie Monsters Inc. "Employees of the defendant left pictures of the cartoon character Sully on display on the worksite."
In a specific incident on September 22, the man claims his fleet coordinator was intoxicated on a bus and, in front of about 20 employees, said he was her "bitch" and that she was going to make his life harder. As a result the man said he avoided going to the mess at the camp and would instead prepare his meals in his room with a blender.
The man claimed he complained about the matters to management and the human resources department, however no action was taken. The incidents caused the man to develop a significant psychiatric condition, and Rockhampton Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Meghan Rothery said the once fun-loving father of two was still unable to return to work.