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Ratings for Dr. Peter Cotton


Taken From Court Verdicts on http://www.austlii.edu.au/ Dyer and Comcare [2011] AATA 748 (25 October 2011) Egon Fice who conduct the Administrative Appeals Tribunal said: ‘Although Dr Cotton said it was possible that Ms Dyer’s symptoms were more significant when she in fact ceased work, he said they had subsided since that time. It is difficult to work out from the evidence whether Dr Cotton was accepting that Ms Dyer had suffered some mental health symptoms prior to his examination. He described the symptoms as mild and not clinically significant. However, given the descriptions of her symptoms by other medical professionals, and having examined a number of emails written by Ms Dyer at around about that time and shortly after 12 November 2009 in which she threatened suicide, I cannot accept Dr Cotton’s analysis of her symptoms and her degree of incapacity to engage in employment following the events of 12 November 2009. Furthermore, his finding that Ms Dyer did not exhibit with any clinically significant mental health symptoms is obviously inconsistent with the fact that she continued with taking anti-depressive medication and continued to consult a psychologist. This is precisely the point made by Dr Dush Shan in his report. I am not persuaded by Dr Cotton’s report. Accordingly, I find that the aggravation of Ms Dyer’s existing mental injury arose out of or in the course of her employment with the Department of Defence.’ Williamson v Vorbau & Transport Accident Commission ‘Dr Cotton re-examined the plaintiff in May 2009 … He found there were no indications of any significant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. He considered that the symptoms fluctuated but appeared to be generally mild. He considered that she would have been able to resume her pre-accident job, had it remained available.’ However, Dr Edward Cole found ‘her as totally and permanently incapacitated for any form of employment likely to be open to her.’ Judge Smith said ‘I am satisfied that the plaintiff has a Major Depressive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can be fairly described as being more than serious, to the extent of being severe … Accordingly, I am satisfied that the plaintiff has suffered a serious injury in accordance with the definition of that term in s.93 (17) of the Act.’ One thing to note in relation to Dr Cotton is that he does regular consultancy work for Insurance Companies (i.e. they pay him and others to provide medical opinions, many of which they use to oppose claims from injured workers and patients). At the13th Annual National Workers Compensation Summit 2012, Dr Cotton claimed his research and that of others in other Australian states and the UK (he doesn’t mention if these other researchers receive payments for consultancy work on behalf of corporations as he himself does) showed (according to him) that for 1/3 of people who lodged psychological injury claims, at the time they lodged them, they didn’t really have what they were diagnosed with which was Adjustment Disorder but rather “low morale.” Have a close look at this comment from him ‘SO WE NEED TO IDENITFY THOSE PEOPLE AND KEEP THEM OUT OF THE COMPENSATION SYSTEM.’ What all this essentially means is that he believes 1/3 of people who have psychological injuries should not receive compensation as part of Workers Compensation. He also infers that, despite psychologists and psychiatrists diagnosing these people with Adjustment Disorders (as per international standards in the DSM and ICD), he apparently knows better and that these injured people shouldn’t receive financial compensation as part of workers compensation. MUSIC TO THE EARS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES WHO LIKE RECEIVING PAYMENTS FROM PREMIUMS BUT HATE HAVING TO PAY PEOPLE OUT! Dr Cotton stated all this at the13th Annual National Workers Compensation Summit 2012, in a YouTube video that was active on March 10, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3fln2f2i9M He said from the 21st second mark ‘ (RE: Interpersonal and Bullying claims) What we know is that they have increased dramatically … because bullying … (has) had a an enormous run in the media with numerous high profile cases, there is a lot of frivolous reporting as well. So it’s about sorting out the serious claims from the frivolous claims … A research project I was involved in, and this is consistent with work done in other states and in the UK, a third of people who lodged psychological injury claims, at the time of lodgement, don’t have any significant medical symptoms. What they have is low morale. So what they really need is an alternative pathway to other employment or HR and conflict resolution interventions. What happens unfortunately for those people at the moment is that they get this dreadful adjustment disorder label from GP’s and Psychologists and they get medicalised and often get worse. SO WE NEED TO IDENITFY THOSE PEOPLE AND KEEP THEM OUT OF THE COMPENSATION SYSTEM.’

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flag | Submitted March 9, 2015

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