Stress case paves way for damages claims

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 26 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1391
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. Legal Correspondent, BMJ.

    Employers are bracing themselves for a rash of claims for damages for injuries related to stress following last week's historic victory by a social worker who claimed that his workload had caused a mental breakdown that ended his career. Among the likely claimants are hospital doctors, a handful of whom have already consulted the BMA's legal department. Three cases have come in within the past month, according to the department's head, Chris Hughes.

    John Walker, who was retired from his job as a social services area manager on medical grounds after suffering two breakdowns, is the first employee in Britain to sue an employer successfully for stress from overwork. Lawyers said that the case would open the floodgates …

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