Stress in the City: The employer’s exposure

News | Mon 13th Jun, 2016

A work-related stress claim (Anthony Finn v KBC Bank NV) brought by an international banker working in Fund Derivatives for KBC Bank NV settled outside Court 15 in the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, before the trial was due to commence before Mr. Justice Mitting.

The claimant alleged that he sustained injuries (Meniere’s disease and depression) due to stress. It was alleged that the stress was caused by an excessive workload, undertaking additional administrative operational work, undertaking work when he had no experience of dealing with such matters.

The claimant asserted that the bank was in breach of its common law duty of care (see Sutherland v Hatton; Somerset County Council v Barber; Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council v Jones; Baker Refractories Ltd v Bishop [2002] EWCA Civ 76, [2002] 2 ALL ER 1) and regulation 3 of the Management and Safety at work Regulations 1999 (see Kennedy v Cordia (Services) LLP [2016] UKSC 6, [2016] 1 WLR 597).

The parties compromised the claim for damages and costs, which was approved by Mitting J.

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that at least 18,000 workers in UK financial services and insurance business suffered from work related stress, depression or anxiety caused by their job in the last 12 months.

Claims relating to stress are some of the most expensive claims that the financial services sector faces. In the City, these are routinely multi-million pound claims and can be in the tens of millions.

9 Gough Chambers has specialist practitioners available to assist solicitors with these complex claims.

Simon Butler was instructed on behalf of J Garrard & Allen LLP.

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