Assessing compensation for hurt feelings

ICTS (UK) v Tchoula IRLB 644 EAT

• Tchoula’s race discrimination claim listed more than 20 complaints against ICTS, and following his dismissal he added a number of victimisation complaints. All but three of the complaints were dismissed. Tchoula was awarded more than £50,000, which included £22,000 for injury to feelings and £5,000 aggravated damages.

On appeal, the EAT held the award for injury to feelings was “manifestly excessive” and wrong in law. Such awards should be compensatory, not punitive, and should be broadly in line with personal injury awards. Injuries which resulted in awards of £27,000 included moderate brain damage and psychiatric injury.

The EAT put previously decided cases into “higher category” cases with awards ranging between £20-£30,000, and “lower category” cases ranging between £6,500 and £13,500. Tchoula’s was a “lower category” case; only three of his claims were successful, the victimisation took place over 10 days, and he suffered no depression from his treatment by ICTS. The EAT substituted £7,500 for injury to feelings and £2,500 for aggravated damages.

Ultimatum was discriminatory

Stringer v First Leisure Corporation EOR Discrimination Digest 44, ET

• Stringer worked as a deputy manager at a night club in Hull, commuting regularly from Loughborough where she lived with her husband who also worked for First Leisure.

In March 1999, her senior manager threatened and bullied her and told Stringer she had to show greater commitment to First Leisure by moving to Hull and choosing between her job or her marriage. Stringer went on sick leave and her medical certificates indicated she suffered from depression for two-and-a-half months. She subsequently resigned and brought a sex discrimination claim.

The tribunal held that she lost her job because she was a married woman. The ultimatum had meant choosing between living with her husband or working in Hull. She was less favourably treated because of her sex because no such ultimatum had been given to her husband.

The tribunal awarded Stringer almost £29,000. This included £2,000 for the depression she had experienced, and £20,000 for injury to feelings which took into account her age, status and ambitions.

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