• Robert Spicer

Sex discrimination: compensation for personal injury: previous PTSD


Personal injury


Case Olayemi v Athena Medical Centre (2016) Morning Star, September 2, EAT

Facts Ms A was employed by AMC as a GP. Following her dismissal in 2008 she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She complained of sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract on the basis that AMC had subjected her to a campaign of harassment to drive her out of her job. The claims were upheld by the ET. She was awarded £752,333 compensation. The ET deducted 12.5% from the total, based on a medical report which stated that a previous episode of PTSD had contributed 10 to 15% to the current episode. Ms A appealed to the EAT.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed.

  1. Ms A had clearly established that her employer’s wrongdoing had been a material cause of her psychiatric condition.

  2. It was not open to an employer to argue that the only reason she had suffered from PTSD was because of an earlier susceptibility or vulnerability.

  3. The employer could not rely on susceptibility or vulnerability as a defence unless it could show that it was completely divisible from the harm which the employer had caused.

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