Social worker loses stress compensation battle

A social worker who claimed she was forced to give up her job
due to stress, has lost her court battle for compensation.

A high court judge refused Maureen Pratley compensation, after
she claimed a 100-hour-a-week workload resulted in her suffering a
stress related breakdown.

Pratley, who worked as a care manager for older people in the
Leatherhead area, began the high court bid for damages from Surrey
council in June, claiming she was left suicidal and depressed
following a breakdown in 1996.

She checked into the Priory rehab clinic, west London, after the
breakdown, but was dismissed from her job in May 1998.

Mr Justice Buckley ruled that before a supervision meeting in
August 1996, the council had no reason to anticipate that her
health may be at risk.

“That is not surprising, since Miss Pratley herself was clearly
concerned that the council should not become aware she was stressed
let alone suffering any work-related health problems,” he said.

He added that he was sympathetic to Pratley “who has made a real
contribution to society through her work”. But ruled that he could
not hold the council in breach of duty, and that the claim should
be dismissed.






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