How Christine Gannon, an expert Employment Law solicitor based in our Brighton solicitors’ office, won a £50,000 settlement for a client who had experienced disability discrimination after being injured at work.
Victor was employed as a waiter by Gold Diamond, a large restaurant chain. In March 2019 Victor suffered a head and back injury following an accident at work. Victor returned to work in April 2019, but was later diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and eventually “suspended” in August 2019 without pay on alleged health and safety grounds.
In October 2020, Victor brought claims for disability discrimination, unlawful deductions and failure to provide wage slips which was dealt with by another law firm. In February 2021, a Case Management Hearing took place in February 2021 and Victor wanted to amend his claim to include disability harassment relating to the way he was treated by his colleagues after his accident. As well as other directions, Victor was ordered to submit any amendment application by 8 March 2021.
Victor instructed our firm as he was not happy with his legal expense panel solicitors and his legal expense insurer agreed to pay us his freedom of choice solicitor.
Christine amended his claim to include disability harassment and submitted his application to amend in March 2021.
Christine also continued to advise Victor in relation to his ongoing employment. Notwithstanding the fact that Gold Diamond had received Occupational Health advice in December 2020 that indicated that Victor would be able to return to work with adjustments, there were further delays in acting upon this report.
In May 2021, with advice from Christine, Victor resigned due to the discrimination he had suffered and his employer’s ongoing failure to re-instate his pay and get him back to work. She subsequently issued Victor’s further claims for constructive unfair dismissal and victimisation.
Although the disability harassment claim was not allowed to proceed, the other amendments were accepted which improved how Victor’s original claim was pleaded. This included Gold Diamond’s duty to make reasonable adjustments.
Gold Diamond had not been prepared to engage in discussions into a Settlement Agreement in relation to the case. They had, however, agreed to participate in Judicial Mediation.
Victor had already received substantial personal injury damages payment for his back and head injury (and post-concussion syndrome) which had partially compensated him for his loss of earnings following the accident at work.
We advised Victor that the Tribunal would have to take into regard this payment when assessing losses if he was successful at his main Hearing. Victor was however having significant difficulties in mitigating his losses due to his disability and had suffered substantial injury to his feelings.
On 19 January 2022, there was a successful Judicial Mediation of the case, where Victor accepted £50,000 to settle all of his claims. This was a good outcome for Victor, who also received a reference and confidential statement of regret, both of which the Tribunal had no power to award him.
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