Workplace injury over shovelling mulch settled for hefty sum

DOMINIC Doblo has settled a claim with a former employee for a back injury sustained on the job by shovelling piles of mulch into a wheelbarrow.

Arthur Weazel, 29 of ­Kawana, filed a lawsuit in the Rockhampton Supreme Court claiming more than $750,000 for injuries ­allegedly sustained while ­conducting duties at a job site in Pineapple Drive, Yeppoon.

Mr Doblo advised The Morning Bulletin it was settled for an amount of about $380,000, all of which was paid by WorkCover and not himself.

The workplace injury in question was on August 16, 2017, according to the court documents.

Mr Weazel said he was required to shovel 31 cubic metres of mulch into wheelbarrows from 7.15am to 2pm with a 30 minute lunch break.

Mr Weazel then allegedly experienced significant back pain and sleep disruption.

As a result of the incident, Mr Weazel allegedly sustained a spinal injury and anxiety and depression.

It was claimed Mr Doblo failed to "undertake any or any reasonable assessment of the risks associated with manually shifting the mulch" and failed to provide safe working practices.

Rees R and Sydney Jones acted for Mr Weazel against Mr Doblo who was trading under the firm name, Dominic Doblo Mowing and Gardening.

The lawsuit was for damages for negligence causing personal injury.

For his loss and damages, Mr Weazel claimed $760,561.98.

McInnes Wilson Lawyers filed an amended defence on behalf of Mr Doblo in April.

The defence argued many of the allegations in the ­Statement of Claim, mostly stating Mr Doblo was unable to confirm the truth or falsity of the allegations.

Mr Doblo argued he was not at the Yeppoon worksite and could not confirm the hours or the work Mr Weazel carried out, as it was solely ­relying on Mr Weazel's word.

Mr Doblo did not agree Mr Weazel had endured and continued to endure pain and suffering.

Mr Doblo did agree Mr Weazel had lost earnings and had required medical ­treatment but denied he would need medical treatment in the future "because it is contrary to medical evidence".

Mr Doblo claimed the medical evidence submitted did not support the amounts pleaded in the claim.

The defence further notes the landscaping business has since ceased therefore Mr Weazel's employment would have come to an end.

Replying to the claim for future economic loss, the defence states Mr Weazel is facing a charge of grievous bodily harm that has yet to be heard.

The matter is with the Rockhampton District Court and a date is to be handed down.

Mr Weazel is yet to enter a plea.

The defence states Mr Weazel failed to "fully engage with recommended treatment either in the form of physiotherapy, dietary advice or the Wesley Hospital pain management program".

The parties entered into a confidential deed of settlement to settle the proceedings.

An offer to settle was entered in February.

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