Employee loses $1.9m bullying case after claiming his boss farted on him maliciously

  • 11/04/2018
A businessperson pointing at somebody's bum.
Photo credit: Getty

An Australian man has lost his AU$1.8 million (NZ$1.9 million) workplace bullying case after claiming his supervisor farted on him maliciously.

Fifteen witnesses were called to testify during the 18-day trial at the Victoria Supreme Court.

David Hingst claimed supervisor Greg Short abused and farted on him during his time with Construction Engineering Australia from 2008 to 2009.

According to Mr Hingst, Mr Short would often "lift his bum and fart" in his direction, which Mr Hingst said resulted in depression, anxiety and physical injuries.

The court heard about one incident, where he confronted Mr Short with a can of deodorant and labelled him 'Mr Stinky'.

However the court sided with the defendant, rejecting Mr Hingst's claims and denying him the $1.9 million in damages he was seeking.

"I do not accept the plaintiff's evidence about the frequency of Mr Short's flatulence in the office, or that it was targeted at the plaintiff," Justice Rita Zammit wrote.

She also believes Mr Hingst may have taken offence due to cultural differences between his native Germany and Australia.

"Us Australians are sort of brought up, you sort of accept it or think, 'Oh it's just - that's what happens'," she said.