Council to pay out on worker?s injury claim

GLADSTONE City Council has been ordered to pay a local man more than $120,000 in compensation for an injury he suffered at work.

Nakia Welker was awarded the pay out in the Queensland Supreme Court despite the judge deeming his evidence as not credible and unsatisfactory.

According to the court report obtained by The Observer, Mr Welker sustained a back injury while he was working at the Gladstone City Pool in 2002.

He was wheeling a trolley loaded with timing touchpads after a swimming carnival.

The court judgement referred to severe psychiatric problems and a substance abuse disorder Mr Welker now suffers from which may have been caused by his injury.

Following the injury Mr Welker left his position at the council pool to take up another job.

Judge J. Dutney said during the trial Mr Welker displayed irrational behaviour which led to him being deemed "...an unsatisfactory witness.'' "The content of much of the plaintiff's evidence was equally unconvincing," he said. "For reasons I shall develop later it contained much that was exaggerated or incredible." "Where Mr Welker's evidence was contested I generally prefer the evidence of other witnesses.'' Evidence tabled by doctors during the trial indicated Mr Welker's injuries were minimal, while a report from Doctor Rigby said he "considered Mr Welker displayed features of neurotic attention seeking.'' The $121,134.34 to be paid to Mr Welker by the council includes money for pain and suffering and future economic loss as well as medical bills.



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