Carpenter – Employment Practices – Insurance Claim

Carpenter

15 staff

$12M turnover

Payment: $205,000

Background

A female carpenter was contracted to a building company to provide a service. Part of her duties involved being on site with a team of other workers, most of whom were male. A complaint was made to the Australian Human Rights Commission where she alleged that her supervisor sexually harassed her over the duration of her employment by touching her inappropriately and making inappropriate comments. She refused to return to work after reporting the incident to the building company on the grounds that she is suffering major depression as a result of the alleged sexual harassment. She made a workers’ compensation claim due to her alleged inability to return to work. She also lodged a complaint against both the company and her supervisor with the Australian Human Rights Commission seeking approximately $160,000 in compensation plus future damages.

Outcome

It was deemed that the insuring clause was triggered. The matter proceeded to a conciliation at the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Claimant and the Insured agreed at conciliation to resolve the complaint by updating the anti-discrimination policy in the workplace, and providing a settlement.

Payment: $205,000

For more information contact www.newcastleinsurancegroup.com.au

Electrician – OH&S Insurance Claim

Electrician

5 staff

$8M turnover

Payment: $450,000 fine plus, $100,000 in defence costs

Background

An employee electrician contracted by the insured electrical contracting company was inspecting wiring on a building site. During the inspection, the contractor suffered severe electric shock whilst inspecting the wiring. It was later discovered that certain precautions were not followed on site. The employee was left with severe burns to his right arm and face. The insured company was subject to a formal Occupational Health and Safety investigation and prosecution.

Outcome

It was determined that the Insuring clause of the Policy was triggered and indemnity was extended to the Insured. The company vigorously denied and successfully defended the most severe allegations allegations. Despite their attempt at defending the claim, the company was fined for the negligent actions of their employees.

Payment: $450,000 fine plus, $100,000 in defence costs

Plumber – OH&S Insurance Claim

Plumber

9 staff

$11M turnover

Payment: $120,000 fine plus, $130,000 in defence costs

Background

A team of 3 plumbers were contracted to attend an industrial building site in Western Australia to undertake certain tasks in the overall building project. The team consisted of new recruits who were new to the job. Unfortunately, on the first day of the project, two of the novice electricians were seriously injured. One contractor suffered a deep laceration on his hand whilst the other contractor lost partial hearing in his left ear due to failing to wear the safety equipment correctly. A formal Occupational Health and Safety investigation began which eventually led to the company being prosecuted.

Outcome

It was determined that the Insuring clause of the Policy was triggered and indemnity was extended to the Insured. Following a two day hearing, the company was found liable and was fined.

Payment: $120,000 fine plus, $130,000 in defence costs

For more information contact www.newcastleinsurancegroup.com.au

Landscaper – Management Liability Insurance Claim

Landscaper

20 staff
$15M turnover

Payment: $114,000

Background

A large gardening business sued the owners of a small family owned gardening and horticultural company for $445,000 after its retail manager left to join the insured business. The competing company alleged theft of trade secrets and claimed that the retail manager was still in their employment when they began sharing proprietary information with the Insured.

Outcome

It was determined that the Policy was triggered and indemnity was extended to the Insured. The claim proceeded to hearing and was settled at mediation.

Payment: $114,000

Electrical Contractor – Management Liability Claim

Electrical Contractor

9 staff

$10M turnover

Payment: $410,000

Background

A Managing Director of a medium sized electrical contracting company left to become the CEO of a competing company (the Insured). After 3 months, his previous employer sued him for allegedly stealing trade secrets, confidential business information and employees.

Outcome

Proceedings were initiated against the Managing Director in the Federal Court for damages. The Insured incurred over $200,000 in legal costs to defend the claim. The parties ultimately settled the dispute for $210,000 with the former Managing Director agreeing to not disclose any confidential information and to not hire former employees.

Payment: $410,000