An Australian man who claims he was bullied by his former boss has filed an appeal after his case was tossed out of court last year. He's seeking more than $1.8 million (or $1.2 million in U.S. dollars) in damages from his former employer.
David Hingst, a former employee at Construction Engineering, accused his ex-supervisor Greg Short of harassment via flatulence, News.com.au reported.
Hingst, 56, appeared in court Monday where he told the panel that Short, aka "Mr. Stinky," would pass gas behind him and walk away several times a day.
"He thrusted his bum at me while he's at work," Hingst reportedly said in court.
In 2017, Hingst filed a lawsuit against the engineering firm, but the case was later thrown out by the Supreme Court of Victoria.
"I would be sitting with my face to the wall and he would come into the room, which was small and had no windows," he told the Australian Associated Press following the hearing, according to News.com.au. "He would fart behind me and walk away. He would do this five or six times a day."
Hingst became so upset over the behavior that he sprayed deodorant on Short and called him Mr. Stinky.
In addition to the alleged flatulence aimed at him, Hingst claimed he received bullying phone calls from other employees during his employment. He has claimed that Short's farting was intended to cause him "severe stress" and was part of a conspiracy to force him out of the job.
What did Short say?
During the original 18-day hearing in April, Short told the court that he couldn't recall farting on Hingst but that he "may have done it once or twice, maybe," News.com.au reported.
"I don't recall doing so, so I'm not flat out saying I didn't or I did. I just can't remember doing it," Short said. "But if he alleges I did it."
Short denied any malicious intent.
Why was the original case thrown out?
Justice Rita Zammit threw the case out after deciding that even if the farting occurred, it "would not necessarily amount to bullying."
She went on to conclude that there was "some inappropriate behavior in the office, including passing wind, but that it was 'typical banter or mucking around.'"
Hingst argued that he was unjustly made redundant, but Zammit disagreed.
"It was a genuine redundancy and the deed of release was lawfully executed," Zammit said, according to News.com.au.
Hingst appealed the court's decision.
A ruling by the Court of Appeals is expected Friday.