Employee Makes Injury Claim Despite Settling at Employment Tribunal

Anita North
National Head of Employment

A man is to make a personal injury claim against his former employer, despite settling at an Employment Tribunal several years earlier.

The case of Farnham-Oliver v RM Educational Resources Ltd concerns a man who used to be a customer adviser who had various physical and mobility problems.

While working at the firm, he took them to an Employment Tribunal, arguing they hadn’t done enough to make reasonable adjustments for him, the Law Society Gazette reports.

He also approached a different law firm to make a personal injury claim for work-related stress.

The Employment Tribunal was settled for £12,000 in 2015, and a clause in the settlement agreement confirmed that he’d still be able to make a personal injury claim.

The defendant sought to have the personal injury claim struck out, arguing that it was “an abuse of process” and that they were being unduly harassed.

But the High Court has now rejected this view, saying the claimant can continue with his personal injury claim, despite previously reaching a settlement at a Tribunal.

What Does this Mean for Employees?

“The law relating to disability discrimination, and the duty to make reasonable adjustments, is complex, giving Employees different routes to pursue a claim. This can leave Employers open to claims being brought in both an Employment Tribunal and the County or High Court,” says Anita North, Employment Law Solicitor.

“Many Employers will try to prevent claims being brought against them, by using a Settlement Agreement, but there are various issues to consider when settling employment law claims in this way. This case highlights that thorough legal advice is important at an early stage, so that Employees are fully aware of their legal rights.”

Anita North Employment Law Solicitor
Anita North

Our Employment Law Team have years of experience in helping employees bring a claim at an Employment Tribunal but this isn’t always the best option for everyone. This is why it’s so important to get specialist legal advice, tailored to your situation.

For example, the maximum amount of compensation you can claim at an Employment Tribunal is £25,000 and there’s a strict time limit of 3 months minus one day to bring a claim. In some cases, it can be more beneficial for employees to make a Civil Claim instead.

Partner and Head of Industrial Disease, Deborah Krelle also recognises that there can be drawbacks to personal injury claims settled at a Tribunal.

“It is common practice to see the exclusion of injury claims in settlement agreements in Tribunal claims, especially where the injury claim is known about at the time, as in this Farnham-Oliver case,” says Deborah.

“Indeed, the agreement positively permitted the civil claim to be brought and rightly this allows the Claimant to pursue his personal injury claim as a separate piece of litigation. To find otherwise would prevent the Claimant from seeking his right to compensation.”

Deborah Krelle Partner and Head of Industrial Disease
Deborah Krelle

It’s difficult to say how the Farnham-Oliver v RM Educational Resources Ltd case will affect future personal injury claims against employers, as Judge Master Dagnall notes that this case “depended on its own facts and specifics of the compromise agreement on the tribunal claim.”

Personal Injury at Work Claims

If you’ve suffered a personal injury at work and you’d like legal advice about making a Personal Injury Claim or bringing a claim at an Employment Tribunal, we can advise you on your best course of action.

Get in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors today to see how we can help you.

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