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Beart v Her Majesty's Prison Service [2005] EWCA Civ 467, CA

DATE: 26 Apr 2005

The appellant employer (P) appealed against the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision on remedies that where an unfair dismissal followed an earlier tort of disability discrimination, damages were not limited to the unfair dismissal regime with its statutory cap. The respondent (B) worked at a prison as a temporary executive officer until she went off work suffering from depression after an altercation with her immediate superior. She was dismissed after disciplinary proceedings in which charges of undertaking outside work and working while claiming sick pay were found proved. B’s claims of disability discrimination, which involved an allegation of a failure to redeploy her at another establishment, and unfair dismissal were upheld. After a remedies hearing the employment tribunal held that she would have continued in P’s service if she had been redeployed and that she was entitled to career long loss of earnings in addition to awards for personal injuries, injury to feelings, aggravated damages and unfair dismissal. P submitted that the employment tribunal and EAT erred in failing to hold that as a matter of causation B’s dismissal broke the chain of causation between the earlier disability discrimination and the subsequent dismissal.

The appeal was dismissed.