Tuesday Law Report: Employer's Liability for Psychiatric Injury Caused by Stress at Work ; 25 January 2005 Hartman V South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust and Other Appeals ( EWCA Civ 6) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Tuckey and Lord Justice Scott Baker) 19 January 2005
Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, The Independent (London, England)
BECAUSE A claimant suffered stress at work and the employer was in some way in breach of duty in allowing that to occur, it did not follow that the claimant was able to establish a claim in negligence. What gave rise to liability was foreseeable injury flowing from the employer's breach.
The Court of Appeal allowed two appeals and dismissed four others against decisions in cases involving claims for damages for psychiatric injury arising out of stress at work.
Six appeals in cases involving claims for damages for psychiatric injury caused by stress at work were heard consecutively by the Court of Appeal. Four were defendant's appeals; two were claimant's appeals.
Andrew Hogarth QC (Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert) for the appellant in the first appeal; Andrew Glennie (Newman and Maxwell) for the respondent in the first appeal; David Platt and Matthew Boyle (Berrymans Lace Mawer) for the appellant in the second appeal; Kathleen Anderson and Samuel Wright (Gowmans) for the respondent in the second appeal; Robert Stokell (Halliwell Landau) for the appellant in the third appeal; Richard Seabrook (instructed by Thompsons) for the respondent in the third appeal; Julian Matthews (Paul Rudd) for the appellant in the fourth appeal; Richard Swain (DLA) for the respondent in the fourth appeal; Winston Hunter QC and Simon Burrows (Halliwell Landau) for the appellant in the fifth appeal; Simon Dyer (John O'Neal & Co) for the respondent in the fifth appeal; Wendy Outhwaite (Treasury Solicitor) for the appellant in the sixth appeal; Nigel Cooksley QC (Augustines Injury Law) for the respondent in the sixth appeal.
Lord Justice Scott Baker, handing down the judgment of the court, said that there were other similar cases in the pipeline either awaiting permission to appeal or the hearing of the appeal, permission having been granted. …