$4m claim: CQ rail worker's PTSD after horrific scenes

**WARNING** Some readers may find the details of this article distressing.

A Central Queensland railway supervisor has filed a $4 million lawsuit for PTSD after witnessing traumatic scenes, including fatalities, on railway lines throughout Queensland.

Brett Reynolds, now 36, was employed by Aurizon and Queensland Rail as an operations supervisor in Mackay and Brisbane.

He claims between 2010 and 2014 during his work duties he was directed to attend fatalities and or collisions that involved trains, persons and vehicles that were of "extreme physical trauma".

Mr Reynolds claims he was required to coordinate police and was required to speak with police, train drivers, witnesses, family members of deceased and members of the public.

Mr Reynolds claims he was also required to make arrangements for cleaning or removal of debris from such incidents.

The court documents detail a series of traumatic incidents Mr Reynolds was involved in.

One incident was a fatal car collision between a train and a motor vehicle near Mackay, where Mr Reynolds was verbally abused at the scene and physically had to move human remains.

Another incident was a train and fuel tanker collision at Mackay Harbour where there was a significant amount of human blood.

Another fatality in 2011 was when a tractor collided with a train at a level crossing near Mackay and Mr Reynolds was required to advise family members of the deceased's passing, clean up the scene and view the deceased's body.

An incident in 2012 near Proserpine involved four fatalities and injured people included a lady with severe bleeding and an 18 month old baby who was airlifted in a critical condition. Mr Reynolds was the first witness at the scene before emergency services.

In 2013, Mr Reynolds claimed he felt threatened for his safety at the scene of a crash at Townsville where the deceased's family were intoxicated and screamed at him.

At a fatality at Moreton Bay in 2014, Mr Reynolds witnessed an extremely traumatic fatality scene, froze at the scene, and another employee was sent to coordinate the incident and its aftermath.

In 2012 when he attended a collision in Rockhampton, Mr Reynolds advised he was not coping and requested someone else attend the scene.

As a result of the traumatic scenes and incidents, Mr Reynolds claims he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and requires psychological support and counselling.

The court claim alleges Aurizon exposed Mr Reynolds to risk of personal psychiatric or psychological injury, did not provide a safe place of work, was negligent and failed to provide supervision, support or assistance in the workplace.

The court claim further alleges Aurizon failed to act, whether adequately, or at all, on Mr Reynolds' complaints regarding his concerns in relation to his health and wellbeing related to such incidents.

The personal injury lawsuit, filed with the Rockhampton Supreme Court, is for a total of $4,195,460.91.

This amount includes $750,000 for a past wage loss, $2.059 million for future wages and $750,000 for counselling, hospitalisation, psychiatric care.

A final offer has been submitted and no defence has yet been filed.


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