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Judge dismisses "quaint" defence in stress claim

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Witham v Hastings and Rother NHS Trust (2002) 66 BMLR 20 HC (0 other reports)

In Witham v Hastings and Rother NHS Trust Royal Courts of Justice, London, 4.10.2001, a former ward sister wins High Court damages after her nursing career was cut short by anxiety and depression caused by occupational stress. The case is particularly interesting because of the way the trial judge deals with an allegation of "voluntary" overwork and the absence of complaints of overwork. The case was decided prior to the Court of Appeal's guidelines for dealing with stress claims in Sutherland v Hatton and others [2002] EWCA Civ 76. Post-Sutherland, the nurse's known vulnerability to depression - which helped her to win on liability and would still be important if the case was heard afresh - would have raised the issue of apportionment of injury, possibly leading to a reduction in damages.