Plaintiff awarded €90k for back injuries related to a
manual handing accident and psychological injuries arising out of a
bullying and harassment in the workplace.
The Plaintiff was employed in the Defendant's hospital in
Tralee. She alleged that she sustained an injury to her back while
she was lifting bundles of hospital records. She further
alleged that, following that accident, she was subjected to
bullying, harassment, abuse, intimidation and discrimination in the
course of her employment.
Cross J accepted that the Plaintiff had not been provided with
any manual handling training. He also accepted that, had the
Plaintiff been properly trained, her injury would probably not have
been sustained. He found the Defendant negligent and in breach
of its statutory duty to the Plaintiff and awarded the
Plaintiff a sum of €30,000 in respect of her back
In relation to the Plaintiff's allegations of bullying and
harassment, Cross J accepted the Plaintiff's evidence regarding
various incidents and events which has occurred after the
Plaintiff's back injury was sustained and held that the conduct
on the part of the Defendant in their dealing with the Plaintiff
constituted "corporate bullying", which was motivated by
hostility towards the Plaintiff. Cross J accepted that the
Plaintiff had sustained an "injury" as opposed to normal
stress and awarded her a sum of €60,000 in respect of her
In his Judgment, Cross J made reference to a number of key cases
where the issues relating to bullying and harassment claims had
previously been considered. Cross J referred to the important
principles which emerged from the case of Sutton v Hatton in the UK
and Maher v Jabail Services Limited in this jurisdiction. Having
analysed the principles in Maher v Jabil, Cross J found that the
Plaintiff had suffered an injury as opposed to ordinary
occupational stress, that the injury was attributable to the work
place and that the harm suffered was reasonably foreseeable by the
Defendant. In that regard, the Plaintiff's claim met the
criteria as set out in Maher v Jabil Service Limited and the
Plaintiff was therefore entitled to succeed against the
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