£13,565 awarded for bullying at work at Co-op

The Claimant was awarded £13,565 in a compensation claim for psychological harm after suffering a moderate adjustment reaction due to being the focus of bullying and harassment at work.

Circumstances

The female Claimant was aged 23 and working at a Co-operative store. Whilst at work she began experiencing bullying and harassment from her store manager. This continued for a year and as a result the Claimant eventually left her job.

Having left, the Claimant then made an attempt to commit suicide as a consequence of which she was admitted to hospital for a few days.

Following the incident the Claimant was diagnosed by a medical expert as suffering from a moderate adjustment reaction disorder due to the bullying and harassment she had been suffering at work. She had no psychiatric illness prior to this.

The Claimant was able to return to work three months after the incident with the support and help of her family. Although she made a full recovery within a year of leaving her job some emotional symptoms were still present when the matter eventually went to trial.

The Claimant's and Defendant's solicitors attempted to reach an amicable settlement through negotiations; however, this process was unsuccessful. The Claimant therefore issued court proceedings and asked the Court to determine the level of damages that were to be awarded.

Conclusion and Settlement

The Judge heard the matter four years after the date of the incident. When assessing the level of damages to be paid he took account of the fact that the Claimant was still suffering with some emotional symptoms at the date of the trial. The Claimant was awarded general damages of £10,000 and a further £3,000 for injury to feelings under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.