Safer but not negligent not to mandate its use
In Nicholls v Ladbrokes  EWCA Civ 1963, a majority decision handed down on 11 July, Ladbrokes overturned an award of damages to Kerry Nicholls who had suffered psychiatric injury following a robbery at a betting shop in Walsall.
The original award rested on the decision of the trial judge that it was negligent of Ladbrokes not to have had in place a policy requiring the door to the shop to be kept shut with a magnetic lock during the hours of darkness. The shop in question had a magnetic lock but its use was inconsistent; one manager routinely used it at night while another did not.
The trial judge agreed with the case that the lock should have been used and Jackson LJ, giving the leading judgment in the Court of Appeal agreed and certainly felt that it was a decision the Judge was entitled to reach and so the appeal court should not interfere. Continue reading
Play your cards right to succeed
A little while ago I reported the sad case of Monk v Cann Hall Primary School and how Mrs Monk’s hopes of securing compensation had been cruelly dashed. The good news is that hope has been rekindled on appeal.
After initially admitting liability, the School’s advisors cottoned on to the fact her claim for psychiatric injury related to her dismissal and, as no such claim may be made, they withdrew the admission and got her claim struck out into the bargain. Continue reading
Everyone makes mistakes and lawyers sometimes get the law wrong. It is less common for lawyers on both sides to be wrong.
A sad example of just such a case is Monk v Cann Hall Primary School  All ER (D) 165 (Sep)*.
Poor Ms Monk not only became seriously ill after being wrongfully dismissed from her position, but then believed for over 4 years that she might recover compensation.
Those hopes, based on her own legal advice and the position adopted by the school’s lawyers were crushed when, less than a month before trial, her case collapsed like a house of cards. Continue reading
In Mitchell & Others v United Co-operatives  EWCA Civ 348 the Court of Appeal was asked to consider the extent of an employer’s duty of care in respect of robberies from a shop. In doing so, it confirmed that the duty did not extend to preventing such robberies but only to taking reasonable steps to deter them. Continue reading
Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It would be a mistake to view the judgment in MacLennan v Hartford Europe  EWHC 346 (QB) handed down on 24 February as an unequivocal finding that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) can never be caused by stress at work.
It is fair to say the Claimant was running a ‘courageous’ case. CFS remains a controversial illness with ongoing debates about its nature (and especially whether it is predominantly a physiological or psychological condition), its diagnosis and even its name.
Without any certainty about the causative mechanism for CFS, it is hardly surprising that there is no agreement that stress may cause CFS at all and so the Claimant was facing an uphill task even before looking at the evidence itself.