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Raymond Kemp v Santa Fe Company (North Sea) Ltd

2 April 2001
The issues

Stress at Work

The facts

The Claimant was employed by the Defendant as a buyer who was responsible for stocking oil rigs. He worked approximately 65 hours per week over 7 days and brought an action alleging the Defendant negligent for:-

(i) Subjecting the Claimant to long working hours;

(ii) Failing to replace staff who had died!;

(iii) Asking the Claimant to carry out investigations (fraud against another employee) which was stressful and put him in fear of his safety;

(iv) The Defendant’s employee was negligent in issuing threats of violence towards the Claimant.

The decision

The Claimant was successful.

Comments

The interesting fact is, according to the report on Lawtel, the Claimant had not had time off work before he suffered the breakdown and had not complained of illness or stress to the Defendant beforehand. The other point to note is that the case was issued 3 years and 2Ω months after the breakdown and the Judge apparently took into account the fact the case was issued outside the limitation when awarding damages which totalled £125,000. The clear implication being the Claimant was penalised when assessing damages for issuing outside the limitation period.

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