Teacher receives over $600,000 after being assaulted by a student

Teacher receives over $600,000 after being assaulted by a student

Our Redlich’s Melton team successfully obtained more than $600,000 in compensation for a casual relief teacher who was injured whilst working at a local specialist school. 

In 2015, our client was called in as a relief teacher for a classroom with a student known for his violent and aggressive outbursts. Unknowingly to our client at the time, the student’s outbursts typically occurred whenever someone attempted to take food away from him.

When our client took on the class, there were already behavioural management plans in place to support the student but our client was not given any form of handover by the regular class teacher or warning about food being a trigger.

During class, our client was told by another teacher to take a packet of chips off the student so that he would have some food left to eat later in the day. The teacher and aide then left our client alone in the classroom as they went to deal with another child who had fled the room. When our client attempted to take the chips off the student, he attacked her, hitting her around the head and also grabbing her arm so violently that it tore ligaments in her wrist.

As a result, our client underwent major reconstructive surgery on her right wrist and was left with pain, disability, surgical scarring, complex regional pain syndrome and psychological damage. Aside from the work she did as a relief teacher at the specialist school, our client was also studying to obtain a PhD in education and had plans to become a university lecturer.

Redlich’s was successful in arguing that our client’s serious injuries were caused by the school’s failure to discharge its duty of care and warn our client about the student’s food triggers. She was able to settle her claim out of court for a very substantial six-figure sum.

If you have experienced a work-related injury and need expert advice, call our team of WorkCover lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to find out how we can help.

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