Kim Daniells of the CNCI team has successfully concluded a negotiated settlement to a claim on behalf of an individual who suffered severe psychiatric injury during the course of his employment. The Claimant, who had many years’ unblemished service with his employer, was suspended suddenly pending an investigation into allegations. The investigation did not support the initial allegations but further issues were uncovered that the employers then deemed suitable for further investigation. The Claimant remained suspended throughout this period. Although given routine updates to confirm the suspension remained in place, the Claimant did not know or understand the detail of the allegations that were being made or the investigation that was taking place. Throughout the period of his suspension the Claimant began to suffer significant distress and anxiety and became depressed.
Eventually, some time after the diagnosis of depression, the suspension was lifted but the Claimant was then subjected to a disciplinary hearing. There followed a lengthy period during which various hearings and appeals took place. Unfortunately, this process put the Claimant under more pressure and the psychiatric condition deteriorated.
Sadly, the Claimant was never subsequently well enough to return to work. Eventually the employment was terminated.
Court proceedings were commenced on behalf of the Claimant. The allegations made on behalf of the Claimant were denied in their entirety.
During a lengthy disclosure process the Defendants, after some pressure brought by the Claimant’s representatives, finally disclosed documents that revealed the source of the initial allegations and the basis of the initial suspension.
The matter was listed for trial but three months prior to trial a 'round table meeting' took place. At that meeting the Claimant accepted an offer substantially in excess of £100,000.00, plus legal costs in settlement of the claim.
Speaking of the settlement, Kim Daniells said, “This is a case where the Claimant was subjected to a lengthy and unjustified suspension. The effect has been significant. Sadly, the process after the termination of employment, and indeed the litigation, will inevitably have been an additional source of stress. No offers were made at any stage of the litigation until the 'round table meeting' but the settlement achieved at that meeting is significant and reflects the nature of the psychiatric injuries sustained by the Claimant. Although the prognosis in psychiatric injury cases is always guarded, it is hoped that resolution of the claim, and the substantial award, will bring some peace of mind to the Claimant who suffered so greatly as a consequence of events in the workplace. Hopefully it will also provide the financial security that will help the Claimant to make a fresh start after this distressing episode."