€15,000 for what exactly?

Astounded by a news story today that a telephonist with Aer Rianta who claimed she suffered post-traumatic stress after answering a hoax bomb warning. She got €15,000. Why?! She claimed the company were negligent and in breach of their duty to her. How exactly?

I take calls from the public to do with my job. If one of them happens to be a bomb threat do I get to sue my employer for stress?! Cases like this would make me despair. The judge should have thrown the case out. When I worked in Conduit on a telephony job we were given instructions on how to deal with a bomb threat. Does that mean I would have been able to deal with it? Probably not, I still would have been freaked out. Would I sue my employer as a result? Definitely not. The claim culture is gaining ground.

3 Comments

  1. copernicus   •  

    You’ve answered your own question there. Conduit covered themselves by providing the training and making you aware of the possibility of the eventuality thereby excluding their liability. As you say, you still would have been freaked out, but that’s beside the point. At least you would have known what to do.

    The company this woman worked for obviously did not provide the training and it must have been established on the facts that they were aware of the possibility that threats would be phoned in. They should have paid for the training, which they will now anyway, and saved themselves the fifteen grand.

    The whole basis of the law of torts is that you have to take reasonable care.

    Was it reasonable to suppose a threat would be phoned to an employee? Yes. You said it yourself and your old employer took precautions.

    Was it reasonable to expect an employee thus phoned to “freak out”? Yes, you said it yourself.

    Was it therefore reasonable to expect the employer to take reasonable steps to reduce any damage? Yes.

    Did this employer take such reasonable care with the health of its employee? No.

    Presto, 15 grands worth of tortfeasance.

    I’d blame the management not the law or the woman who sustained the nervous shock.

  2. anthony   •     Author

    Thanks for the comment Copernicus. To say what we got at Conduit was training would be overstating the matter a bit. :smile:We were given a sheet with instructions on it. Would you really follow instructions written down on a sheet in front of you in a situation like that anyway?

    If that’s all that Conduit required to stop me suing them in the event of a call then it’s a sad state of affairs. Who decides what businessses are susceptible to these type of calls and which aren’t? I’d think a hell of a lot of places would be open to these kinds of lawsuits and that’s why I find the case so disgusting to begin with.

  3. trev   •  

    yeah real nervous shock *12 year olds voice * “theres a bomb on the airport if it goes below 50 it’ll blow up he he he he he!”
    it’s time for people to grow up and start looking after themselves properly again. everyone is on the lookout ofr a quick buck, and as for post traumatic stress, that woman better never leave her house again cause things a hundred times worse can happen just walking down the street , in fact they do; every day, and people pick themselves up and get on with their lives, this compo culture makes me sick as do the people that justify it.

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