Australian man loses bullying-by-breaking wind court case

Featured Articles

An Australian appeals court on Friday dismissed a bullying case brought by an engineer who accused his former supervisor of repeatedly breaking wind toward him.

The Victoria state Court of Appeal upheld a Supreme Court judge's ruling that even if engineer David Hingst's allegations were true, flatulence did not necessarily constitute bullying.

Hingst said he would take his case to the High Court, Australia's final court of appeal. The 56-year-old is seeking 1.8 million Australian dollars ($1.3 million) damages from his former Melbourne employer, Construction Engineering.

Hingst testified that he had moved out of a communal office space to avoid supervisor Greg Short's flatulence.

Hingst told the court that Short would then enter Hingst's small, windowless office several times a day and break wind.

Hingst "alleged that Mr. Short would regularly break wind on him or at him, Mr. Short thinking this to be funny," the two appeal court judges wrote in their ruling.

Hingst said he would spray Short with deodorant and called his supervisor "Mr. Stinky."

"He would fart behind me and walk away. He would do this five or six times a day," Hingst said outside court.

Short told the court he did not recall breaking wind in Hingst's office, "but I may have done it once or twice."

Hingst also accused Short of being abusive over the phone, using profane language and taunting him.

The appeal judges found Hingst "put the issue of Mr. Short's flatulence to the forefront" of his bullying case, arguing that "flatulence constituted assaults."

The court found that Short did not bully or harass Hingst. Hingst had failed to establish that Construction Engineering had been negligent.

Related listings

  • Supreme Court: Google class-action case should be revisited

    Supreme Court: Google class-action case should be revisited

    Featured Articles 03/20/2019

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a lower court to take another look at a lawsuit that involved Google and privacy concerns and ended in a class-action settlement.The high court said in an unsigned opinion that a lower court should address whet...

  • Ohio Republicans defending state congressional map in court

    Ohio Republicans defending state congressional map in court

    Featured Articles 03/11/2019

    Attorneys for Ohio Republican officials will call witnesses this week to defend the state's congressional map.A federal trial enters its second week Monday in a lawsuit by voter rights groups that say the current seats resulted from "an unconstitutio...

  • Court: $700M judgment against North Carolina still unpaid

    Court: $700M judgment against North Carolina still unpaid

    Featured Articles 03/07/2019

    A North Carolina judge has affirmed that a court judgment issued more than 10 years ago stating school districts are owed over $700 million in civil penalties from several state agencies is still nearly all unpaid.The order signed Wednesday by Wake S...

Legal groups argue in court against Trump asylum ban

Legal groups suing the Trump administration over its ban on asylum for anyone who illegally crosses the U.S.-Mexico border have argued their case before a federal judge in San Francisco. U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar did not immediately rule Monday on the groups' request to stop the administration from enforcing the ban.

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that says anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. That would potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

Trump issued the proclamation in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union quickly sued, saying U.S. law makes clear that people can seek asylum regardless of how they enter the country.