Back to Legal Case Studies

Stress at work causes claimant to fall ill

31 October 2008

The Claimant was a Police Officer based in Cheshire with a history of stress illness following his witnessing of a child's death on duty from which he recovered and returned to work.One of the conditions of his return to work was that he should not return to front line police duties, and that if any change to his restricted duties was to be made, it should not occur without full referral to Occupational Health.A new line manager attempted to change the Claimant's duties, causing some friction for the Claimant and ultimately, without his knowledge, he was rostered for front line duties in the Casualty Department of a local hospital on New Years Eve with all the drunken aggression that can be associated with New Year festivities. His rostering was the 'last straw' for the Claimant, who fell off sick with further stress related illness, never to return.Liability remained in dispute throughout the claim, and causation was also in issue. The Claimant was due to retire within a short period of the incident causing his ill health, so the claim was never one of huge value.  However, settlement value was concluded between £21 500 and £23 000.