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Claimant alleges injury to mental health caused by work related stress.

21 September 2000
The issues

Stress

The facts

Claimant alleges injury to mental health caused by work related stress.

The decision

Following White -v- Chief Constable South Yorkshire Police the Claimant had to show that he had suffered from a recognised psychiatric illness not merely an emotional reaction to the events or conduct in question. Such injury had to be reasonable foreseeable as a consequence of the act or remission complained off. On the case of an employment stress case it was necessary for the Claimant to show that some injury was reasonable foreseeable to persons in the same class of employment as the Claimant or alternatively that it was necessary to show that there was a foreseeable risk of injury to the pursuer if the pursuer had a known propensity to suffering psychiatric injuries in certain circumstances. See Walker -v- Northumberland County Council.

It was crucial to recognise that the duty involved was not one not to cause stress but was one not to cause recognised psychiatric illness. Accordingly foreseeability had a part to play.

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