A bus driver who suffered psychological damage after an argument over station toilets has been compensated.
A Sydney bus driver has been awarded compensation after an altercation with a station worker who refused to let him use the toilet left him ‘extremely stressed and upset’.
The driver, employed by train replacement service contractor Transport NSW Transdev, claimed to have suffered psychological injuries resulting from the incident in May last year in Campbelltown.
According to a ruling released by the NSW Personal Injury Commission this month, he had arrived at Macarthur station in the early hours of the morning, needing to “do one and two”, only to find the toilets locked.
A station worker refused to open the toilet doors, saying he hadn’t had a chance to clean them.
After pleading several times, the driver “turned around to get off, when he felt a saddle,” the decision says.
He told the attendant to “open the fucking door, I’m going to do my bathroom things outside the bathroom door if you don’t open them for me”, and pretended to unzip his zipper.
As he turned away, the attendant “pushed him onto his back”. As the attendant finally unlocked the lavatory, the driver then filled out an injury report form, describing it as an “assault”.
The driver then drove to the police station but ultimately made no charges.
Giving his version of events, the attendant said in an email provided to the commission that the driver was “screaming at him and insulting him and carrying on.”
When the driver threatened to urinate on the station, the attendant told him, “You won’t. You are in front of the camera.
As he walked over to the lobby wall “to pee”, the attendant said he pushed the driver but “not hard”.
The driver then “squared up to throw punches”, and after unlocking the lavatory “continued to swear at him and again made threatening gestures to throw punches at him”, the ruling reads.
He told the commission that the incident and subsequent disciplinary meetings at work exacerbated his anxiety and depression.
He filed a claim with Transdev GIO’s workers’ compensation insurer for medical expenses of $900 for consultations with a psychologist and $3,240 for future appointments, also with a psychologist.
GIO disputed the claim. The case was heard before the commission, which ruled this month in favor of the driver.
“I am satisfied that the Claimant suffered a psychological injury on May 2, 2021,” said Senior Member Kerry Haddock.
“This injury was an aggravation of an illness, of which his job was the main contributing factor.”
She noted that the driver’s supervisor had described him as an “excellent worker.”
“I agree that the proposed treatment is appropriate,” she said.
“(His psychologist) calculated the potential cost of further treatment at $1835, while the claim calls for $3240. Neither is an excessive amount. The treatment has the potential to be effective and enable the claimant to retain employment.
“Psychological therapy and antidepressants are accepted forms of treatment for psychological injuries.”
She added: ‘It is impossible to know at this time how the claimant will respond to treatment or how their needs may change in the future. It is appropriate that I make a general order for the payment of his medical expenses. »