Employment

first_imgWorkplace stress – Employee diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome From 24 November 2004, the claimant was employed as a human resources manager in the London office of the defendant company. The defendant was a well-established financial services company based in the US. Having worked for the defendant for just over a year, on 6 January 2006 the claimant felt dizzy and ill at work, and left the office. In Spring 2006, she was diagnosed as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). After suffering from the condition for over five years, her prognosis was not good. Through the defendant she had permanent health insurance. That paid her an income until August 2009 when the defendant’s London office closed and, with the rest of the staff, the claimant was made redundant and her insurance payments ceased. The claimant brought a claim against the defendant alleging, inter alia, that she had developed CFS as a result of the amount and nature of her work with the defendant; and, during the period of her employment, the indications of impending harm to her health arising from stress at work had been sufficiently plain that the defendant, as a reasonable employer, realised or ought to have realised that it should have take steps to prevent that harm in fact occurring. Those steps should have included additional assistance, and additional support from her superiors, from May 2005 or from August 2005 at the very latest. She made a lifetime loss claim valued at approximately £1.25m. The defendant resisted the claim, in particular that the defendant: (i) denied that the claimant’s CFS was caused by her work; and (ii) in any event denied that it was foreseeable that the claimant would become ill as a result of her work, and contended that it was not in breach of any duty to her because there had been no indications of impending harm to her health as a result of her work that triggered any obligation in the defendant to take reasonable steps to avoid such harm occurring. The main issue for determination by the court was medical causation, namely, whether the claimant’s CFS had been caused by stress she suffered at work at the defendant. It was submitted on behalf of the claimant that, but for the nature of her work at the defendant, she would not have contracted CFS. She contended that the overwhelming stress which she had suffered at work had undermined her immune system, reducing her body’s ability to defend itself against infectious diseases as evidenced by her record of illness in 2005. The claim would be dismissed. It was insufficient for a claimant to show that his employer knew or ought to have known that he had too much work to do, or even to show that he was vulnerable to stress as a result of overwork. To succeed, he had to show that his employer knew or ought to have known that, as a result of stress at work, there was a risk that he would suffer harm in terms of a psychiatric or other medical condition. Even then it was insufficient merely to show that there was a known risk of some psychiatric or other injury in the future. The claimant had to show that the employer knew or ought to have known that, as a result of stress at work, there was a risk that he would suffer harm of the kind he in fact suffered. Although most employees would have difficulties with the amount or nature of their work from time-to-time, very few were at risk of psychiatric illness as a result. An employer was entitled to assume that an employee could withstand the normal pressures of the job unless, inter alia, the job was such that employees were known to be at particular risk if injury (see [15]-[20] of the judgment). In the instant case, given the current state of medical knowledge and opinion, the claimant’s argument on causation was bold. There was no proven causal link between stress or a deficient immune response on the one hand, and CFS on the other. On the evidence, given the pattern and nature of her illnesses in 2005, the court was not satisfied that her stress at work had caused any diminution in her immune system, nor that her CFS had resulted from a reduced immune response. On the facts, the expert evidence was, overwhelmingly and all but unanimously, against those propositions. The claimant had failed to satisfy the court that her CFS had been caused by stress at work. As a result of that conclusion the claim failed (see [220]-[226] of the judgment). David Melville QC (instructed by Anthony Gold) for the claimant; David Platt QC (instructed by Kennedys Law LLP) for the defendant. MacLennan v Hartford Europe Ltd: Queen’s Bench Division (Mr Justice Hickinbottom): 24 February 2012 Bonser v RJB Mining (UK) Ltd [2004] IRLR 164 applied; Garrett v London Borough of Camden [2001] All ER (D) 202 (Mar) considered; Pratley v Surrey County Council [2003] All ER (D) 438 (Jul) considered; Hartman v South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust [2005] All ER (D) 141 (Jan) considered.last_img read more

Ashwin sparks furore with ‘Mankad’ dismissal of Buttler

first_img(Reuters) – Ravichandran Ashwin says his ‘Mankad’ dismissal of Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday was not against the spirit of the game despite the run out sparking a chorus of disapproval from fellow players and pundits. Rajasthan Royals batsman Buttler was run out on 69 while backing up at the non-striker’s end, with Kings XI Punjab skipper Ashwin choosing to whip off the bails as the runner stepped out of the crease instead of completing his delivery to the batsman on strike.The dismissal, named after India bowler Vinoo Mankad who ran out Australia’s Bill Brown in similar fashion in 1947, is permitted under cricket’s laws but viewed by some as going against the spirit of the game.Buttler departed after an angry exchange with Ashwin and his exit condemned the Royals to a 14-run defeat in their IPL opener in Jaipur. “On my part, it was very instinctive,” Indian off-spinner Ashwin told a post-match news conference. “It wasn’t planned or anything like that. It’s there within the rules of the game.“I don’t understand where the spirit of the game comes (in). Naturally, if it’s there in the rules, it’s there.”The Marylebone Cricket Club, the authority on the laws of cricket since it was founded in 1787, interpreted the incident in a technical way without saying whether it thought Buttler should have been judged out or not out. “Yesterday’s incident could have been ruled out or not out, depending on how ‘the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball’ is interpreted,” it said.“If it was a deliberate delay, that would be unfair and against the Spirit of Cricket. Ashwin claims this not to be the case.”That view was not shared by Royals coach Paddy Upton. “I think we’ll leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that’s the kind of things they want to see, and we’ll leave it up to the cricket world to judge R Ashwin’s actions tonight,” Upton said.“But for us, we’re certainly here to play cricket and entertain the fans and be good role models for people who love the game.”Former Australia spinner Shane Warne said Ashwin had committed a “low act”. “So disappointed in (Ashwin) as a captain and as a person,” Warne wrote on Twitter. “(Ashwin) had no intention of delivering the ball … this a not a good look for the IPL … Why do such a disgraceful and low act like that tonight?”England limited overs skipper Eoin Morgan said Ashwin had set a bad example for young players, while former England skipper Michael Vaughan suggested the rules should be changed.“If (Buttler) had been warned, well that’s fine,” Vaughan Tweeted. “If he hasn’t and it’s the first time, I think Ashwin is completely out of order … I would prefer a one warning rule, then after that it’s a free for all.”last_img read more