A former social worker who last year failed in a high court bid
to win compensation from the employer she claimed caused her
stress-related breakdown, has launched an appeal,
writes Sally Gillen.
Maureen Pratley, a care manager for older people, who said her
caseload meant she worked a 100-hour week, lost the claim against
She claimed her workload pushed her to a breakdown in 1996 and
left her suicidal and depressed, leading to a two-year break from
Brian Langstaff QC, for Pratley, told London’s court of
appeal that Mr Justice Buckley had wrongly concluded the
council had not breached the “duty of care” they owed
He said that Pratley had told her line manager that her workload
was “intolerable” and she was “going under”
but despite promises to reduce her caseload, Pratley returned to
work to find this had not been done.
But Edward Faulks, QC, for Surrey County Council, argued that
Pratley’s line manager thought she was dealing with a
“professional and calm member of staff” who showed no signs
of an immediate breakdown.
The case continues.