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Former gym teacher bounces back after workplace injury

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Media Release

Published on

Ocean Grove resident and former physical education teacher, Cathy Tisdale, is beginning a new career and a new life after an accident on the job at a Keilor school in 2008.

Last month, Slater and Gordon finalised a settlement with Workcover, on Ms Tisdale’s behalf, for the injuries that happened when a piece of gym equipment collapsed on her hands during a physical education class in the school’s training facility.

Approximately one hundred kilograms of weight connected to a squat machine fell on her thumbs, and the extent of the injuries from the accident forced Ms Tisdale out of the teaching profession.

Ms Tisdale said the accident turned her life upside-down.

“I used to compete in surf-lifesaving events and ride a motorbike. My hands just aren’t strong enough to do those sorts of things now,” Ms Tisdale said.

“I’m left-handed and unfortunately my left hand was the one most severely hurt when the weights fell on me.”

Ms Tisdale said the settlement was the last step in getting past the accident.

“Sometimes it has been difficult financially since the accident. The compensation settlement will help me continue to get back on track. It is an important part of moving on from my injuries.”

Slater and Gordon Geelong lawyer, Danny Connor, said Ms Tisdale faced great challenges in adapting to life with her injuries.

“Cathy is a tremendously strong woman. Her whole life had been about physical activity – including her job – and this accident has forced her to make some big changes,” Mr Connor said.

“She has met this adversity head-on. She has found a new job and she continues to exercise in a limited way.

“Cathy’s positive outlook has been essential to her recovery. Some people simply don’t bounce back from career-ending injuries like this. Cathy has never let it beat her.

“Now that her compensation case has been settled, Cathy can get on with living her life.”

Ms Tisdale now works in an administrative capacity with another employer in Geelong.

Established 76 years ago, Slater and Gordon has built a powerful reputation as a law firm which fights for the best outcomes for everyday Australians.  Today Slater and Gordon offers its broad range of legal services at more locations than any other law firm in the country, delivering affordable legal advice and justice to more Australians.