Easton v B & Q plc

Negligence – Duty to take care. The claimant issued proceedings against the defendant employer for damages for psychiatric illness and consequential loss caused by work-related stress. The Queen's Bench Division, in dismissing the claim, held that the claim had to fail as to the claimant's first breakdown, as the foreseeability threshold could not begin to be surmounted on any view of the evidence. Further, there had been no breach of duty in respect of the claimant's first attempted return to work and, had a general risk assessment been conducted, no general risk of psychiatric injury would have been uncovered.

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