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No liability for stressful disciplinary process: Dermott v LB Harrow

In a judgment handed down on 21 January 2011, McKay J dismissed a claim for psychiatric injury suffered by the claimant during a protracted disciplinary process. The claimant alleged a large number of breaches of his employer’s duty to take reasonable care to protect his health and a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence. The judge applied the guidance in Eastwood v Magnox [2003] 1 AC 403 and Hatton v Sunderland [2003] 1 AC 503. He dismissed all of the allegations bar one. He found that a lie told by the defendant to the claimant about the reason for a change in the composition of an appeal panel was sufficiently serious to amount to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence. However, this single breach had not caused or made a material contribution to the Claimant’s injury.

Andrew Warnock and Rebecca Grant acted for the Defendant.


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