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No reason to anticipate misconduct might be dangerous

Pols v AME Products [2013] QDC 190

Devereaux DCJ

19 August 2013

Background

The plaintiff was injured when assaulted by a co-worker, who he had known prior to starting work. The was conflicting evidence about whether the co-worker was aggressive and verbally abused co-workers. He did have a history of being charged with assault in a non-work context. The assault started when the co-worker abused the injured for making a mistake at work. The co-worker was immediately dismissed after the assault.

Judgement

The court accepted the co-worker was probably difficult to manage and was loud and assertive, but there was no reason to anticipate his misconduct might be dangerous to other employees. The court also found that there were no grounds to terminate him beforehand and a warning to the co-worker would not have changed the outcome.

The plaintiff's claim was dismissed.