Zagi Kozarov, lawyer and former employee of the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions (‘OPP’) worked in the Specialist Sexual Offences Unit from June 2009 to April 2012. During the course of employment, Kozarov sustained PTSD and major depressive disorder from the repeated exposure to child exploitation cases of ‘an abhorrent nature’. Kozarov claimed for negligence, breach of contract, breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and breach of statutory duty from an unsafe system of work that did not take reasonable steps to protect her from harm. The OPP held workshops on trauma/resilience, provided an EAP program and enacted one-on-one file reviews with staff. 

The Court found the OPP did not have safe system of work and was not satisfied that Kozarov failed to prevent further self-injury. The Court was also not satisfied that the OPP breached any obligations under the OHS Act or under the employment contract to ensure work was not routinely allocated ‘ordinary hours of work’. Justice Dixon outlined the damages of:

  • Pain and suffering of $200,000;
  • Past economic loss of $120,000; and 
  • Future loss of earning of $115,000.

Case note: https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/2020/78.html?context=1;query=ohs;mask_path=