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Australian Tribunal: Chemical Sensitivity Not An 'Injury' But Employee's Claim Gets Up

Tuesday 27 October 2020

 

From Australian law firm HBA Legal:

 

Chameleon
 

Australian Tribunal: Chemical Sensitivity Not An 'Injury' But Employee's Claim Gets Up

Date: October 12, 2020
© 2020 HBA Legal.

Flood and Comcare (Compensation) [2020] AATA 2152.

Key Points:

  • The Tribunal considered whether a Centrelink employee was entitled to receive ongoing compensation for multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome.
  • The Tribunal found that multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome is not commonly accepted as a medical condition and instead concluded that Ms Flood suffers from a psychological condition.
  • Despite the change in diagnosis, the Tribunal ultimately found in favour of Ms Flood.

Background:

Ms Flood was an employee at Centrelink’s office in Devonport, Tasmania. In February 2009, she experienced headaches and nausea which escalated to shakiness, a husky voice, a running nose, watering eyes, muscle aching, exhaustion, shortness of breath and chest pains. She attributed the symptoms to chemical odours in the Devonport office. Ms Flood was subsequently diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (MCS) and she submitted a claim for workers’ compensation.

 

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