Woman suing aged care home for $2 million
A BUNDABERG woman has lodged a Supreme Court claim against her former employer and a former colleague after an alleged workplace injury prohibited her from working.
Lillian Annette Evans, a 38-year-old mother of three, is suing TriCare Bundaberg for $2million after a back injury she reportedly sustained while working for the Bundaberg branch left her unable to work.
Her injuries include a musculoligamentous lumbar spine injury, aggravating pre-existing asymptomatic low lumbar spondylosis causing muscle spasm and radicular pain.
Her injury also includes adverse psychiatric and psychological consequences.
In a claim obtained by the NewsMail, the sum includes $60,000 for pain and suffering and loss of amenities, $4636 for loss of past superannuation benefits as well as future medical expenses with an estimated value of $20,000.
The document states on the morning of March 1, 2016 Ms Evans was working as a personal carer at TriCare Bundaberg where she was rostered to attend to showering the late Mr X, a high care patient.
Mr X at the time was about 80 years old, suffering from cognitive defects and possibly dementia.
It is claimed he was also commonly non-compliant with requests from staff, physically strong and physically aggressive.
Ms Evans showered Mr X alone when he became agitated and not willing to sit in the shower chair.
According to the court documents, after the water was turned off Ms Evans tried to towel dry and dress the patient, however, she needed help to control him as there was a risk he may slip and fall.
The claim says an employee came to the bathroom door where they asked if Ms Evans needed assistance, however, the employee told Ms Evans to press a buzzer to find someone to help her.
The claim states the employee was capable and available to help Ms Evans and allegedly did not provide assistance, knowing Mr X was a slip risk.
As the employee left, Mr X was standing on the wet floor, Ms Evans claims she asked him to sit down in the shower chair as she grabbed a return machine.
As Mr X stood on the machine, Ms Evans grabbed a fallout chair with her right hand while holding the return machine in her left, close to the chair. At the same time Mr X automatically sat in the fallout chair, taking the return machine with him.
When this happened Ms Evans was allegedly bent over to support Mr X at which time her body was twisted and her lower back was injured.
Ms Evans claims the employee was negligent and in breach of duty of care to Ms Evans as they failed to take reasonable care their conduct would not pose risk to the health and safety of their colleague.