• Brachers recently settled a claim against an employer under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 on behalf of a supermarket manager who was harassed by a junior employee.

    Client story: harassed at work

    Our client, Mr X, worked for a large chain of supermarkets for a number of years and had become the night shift duty manager. A new member of staff joined and showed themselves to be rude, disrespectful and would not show up to work on time.

    Our client attempted, in their capacity as night duty manager, to rectify the issues but the individual’s behaviour did not change and they became increasingly hostile.

    Although the issues had been reported to Mr X’s employer, the chain had done nothing to address the concerns raised. The behaviour of the staff member escalated further and threats of violence were made against our client. As a result of these threats, our client suffered psychological harm which formed the basis of their claim against the supermarket.

    Establishing employer’s vicarious liability

    The claim was taken on by Mark Gore, Senior Associate, who has acted on a number of psychological injury cases.

    First, a letter of claim was sent to the supermarket outlining the allegations against them and they denied any wrongdoing.

    A medical report was then obtained to establish the full extent of our client’s psychological injuries and explore ways to alleviate his symptoms. After the medical report, we needed to obtain information regarding Mr X’s losses such as any decrease in wages being paid or costs of treatment which had resulted directly from the psychological harm.

    The supermarket continued to deny any responsibility and so court proceeding were issued.

    We were able to show that on at least four separate occasions the individual threated our client and made them fear for their life. Therefore, the basis of the claim fell under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and it was brought against the supermarket who were vicariously liable for the actions of their employee.

    The supermarket maintained their denial of vicarious liability but as they were unable to put forward an alternative to the threatening behaviour of their employee to our client being the reason for their psychological injury, the claim proceeded under the Protection from Harassment Act with no apparent way for the defendant to dispute it.

    A successful outcome

    Following further investigations and negotiations the defendant reached out to us so that discussions for settlement could take place. In the end a five-figure settlement was reached for the psychological injury. This meant our client could now move on with life and begin to heal from his ordeal without the stress of further litigation.

    How can we help you with personal injury claims for psychological damage?

    Mark Gore is a Senior Associate in Brachers’ Personal Injury and Industrial Disease team. He specialises in serious and complex personal injury claims including for psychological harm or psychological injury. Mark’s goal is not simply to obtain compensation for clients, but to ensure they receive the treatment they need to move forward in life. If you would like to talk to Mark about a potential psychological personal injury claim, please call him on 01622 680409 or email markgore@brachers.co.uk

    This content is correct at time of publication

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