A woman suing Lorna Jane over allegations of fat-shaming had a lengthy history of psychiatric issues before she started working for the activewear company, a court has heard.
Amy Robinson is seeking $550,000 over claims she suffered psychiatric injuries after being belittled over her appearance while working for Lorna Jane at the Brisbane airport DFO from July to December 2012.
She also claims she was forced to do unfair hours by her area supervisor.
The Brisbane District Court heard evidence on Monday Ms Robinson had a borderline personality disorder that made it difficult for her to work with other people, and she likely exaggerated or lied about the extent of her suffering to a psychologist.
A report tendered in court from Dr Ursula Oertel described Ms Robinson as “extremely sensitive with interactions with others, quick to feel she is being treated inequitably, and tends to hold a grudge even if the perceived affront is unintentional”.
Under cross-examination, Dr Oertel agreed Ms Robinson had low self-esteem, a distrust of others, and a tendency to become “grievously affronted” by seemingly trivial matters such as being asked to complete a task she saw as meaningless.
“She might misinterpret a tone of voice, a look, or a gesture?” Lorna Jane barrister Rebecca Treston QC asked.
“Yes,” Dr Oertel said.
“It would make holding down a job extremely difficult?” Ms Treston asked.
“Yes,” Dr Oertel replied.
The court heard Ms Robinson had a lengthy history of depression and anxiety, for which she had been taking high levels of medication.
She had sought medical help on a number of occasions from 2002 for a wide range of significant events including post-natal depression, domestic violence and financial issues.
Dr Oertel said the medical history made it “hard to tease out to what percentage or what degree” the experience at Lorna Jane affected Ms Robinson.