$290k compo for hurt back

A FORMER Bowen Basin miner has lost his bid for $1.9 million in damages following a workplace injury - instead walking away with $290,000.

Timothy James Klein was working for SBD Services in an underground coal mine in Central Queensland when he suffered a back injury.

Mr Klein claimed on February 1, 2009, he suffered "intense pain in his lumbar spine" when he helped move a 180kg metal object at North Goonyella mine.

He attempted to sue his former employer to the tune of $1.9 million because of his back injury which, he argued, left him with 6% permanent impairment.

In a trial in Rockhampton earlier this year, Mr Klein recalled using a strap to pull the large object with all his intensity before feeling an explosion of pain in his lower back.

In a judgment released this week, Supreme Court Justice Duncan McMeekin outlined the employer's arguments, including that Mr Klein, 37, had no witnesses to support his claim and no witnesses who worked on the shift to confirm such heavy work actually took place.

The employer also argued Mr Klein's claim should be rejected due to the "improbability" a supervisor would not record an event where a worker was struck with such back pain that he dropped to his knees, had difficulty standing and then was only able to do light work.

Justice McMeekin also stated Mr Klein was not an "impressive witness".

But despite the criticism of Mr Klein's credibility, Justice McMeekin also found he was an "energetic and intelligent" man who could be doing more with his talents than his current job as a traffic controller.

He awarded Mr Klein $150,000 for future impairment of earning capacity, $25,000 for pain and suffering, $155,000 for past economic loss and $2000 for future medical expenses.

Mr Klein was awarded $289,501 altogether in the judgment.



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