Medical report finds psychological injury in House Rules case

Fiona Taylor & Nicole Prince

A medical report which suggests former House Rules participant Nicole Prince has developed a serious psychological illness has been accepted by a NSW Workers Compensation Commission’s Appeal Panel.

The tribunal found she was unlikely to ever work again as a result of her injury.

Last year Nicole Prince won a landmark workers’ compensation case against Seven after being portrayed as a “villain” in the 2017 season. It was the first time a ruling had decreed participants as employees, not as competition entrants.

She lodged a workers compensation claim in May 2017, alleging she had suffered as a result of bullying and harassment from the other teams.

“After our episode was aired I was subjected to online abuse on the Channel 7 Facebook page, including receiving threats of serious physical assault. I have been fearful for my safety ever since.”

Seven was ordered to pay compensation to Ms Prince, who was assessed as having 7 per cent “whole person impairment”. But she appealed that decision and was reassessed by a member of the Commission’s Appeal Panel last month.

“In my opinion I accepted Ms Prince as suffering from major depression with features of anxiety and agoraphobia and that her complaints were consistent with this diagnosis,” Dr Julian Parmegiani noted.

“This is equivalent to a whole person psychiatric impairment rating of 22 per cent.”

A doctor put forward by Seven provided a contrary report, describing Ms Prince’s symptoms as “disproportionately excessive and highly improbable”.

The full Appeal Panel rejected that report, saying, “Our expert medical view is that there is no likelihood of improvement.”

Seven declined to comment.


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