Alright, we understand Vietnam veterans went through hell fighting an unjust war – shit, people were getting legs, arms and other assorted body parts blown off left and right – thus incurring serious mental trauma. Ronal Hopton’s particular case of post-traumatic stress disorder’s not so much violent as it is queer. Literally.
You see, while stationed in Vietnam, Hopton saw a number of his comrades engage in gay sex, thus leaving a festering psychic scar that burst forth decades later under the weight of his gay mining boss Dominic Rossi’s repetitive gay sex jokes.
Sounds a bit fishy, right? Not according to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Max Baer, who says Rossi violated the United Mine Worker’s Act and, thus, can be held financially accountable for Hopton’s mental anguish. Baer ruled:
This case involves a series of sexually harassing comments by a supervisor that … violated the United Mine Worker’s Act contract, resulting in disciplinary action by the employer and arguably constitutes criminal harassment. We thus agree with the (Workers’ Compensation Judge’s) legal conclusion that Claimant established that Rossi’s comments constituted abnormal working conditions.
Accordingly, because the WCJ credited the medical testimony establishing a causal link between the statements and the aggravation of Claimant’s pre-existing PTSD, we conclude that Claimant has established a compensable injury.
Hopton claims that Rossi told him he has a nice butt and, at a later date, fingered said nice butt. The events brought back memories of Hopton’s commanding officer soliciting him for sex. Hopton testified:
I kept looking at (Rossi), and I would see the (commanding officer), and I would see Rossi. Sort of like the Commanding Officer Rossi, Rossi the Commanding Officer. It was getting confusing as to who I was seeing. And all along he was talking, and I can hear him talk. And inside of myself, I started closing up.
See, that’s the problem. You’re supposed to breath deeply and relax.