I was badly bullied by a former work colleague in February 2014 which resulted in me leaving my employment. At the time I was employed, Human Resources were aware of the problems but did not do anything to assist me. I developed severe anxiety and depression as a result of the bullying and I have now developed Fibromyalgia. My doctor thinks that the anxiety and depression have triggered Fibromyalgia. Can I bring a claim against my former employer?
Claims for personal injury arising out of bullying and harassment are difficult cases to bring, but they are possible.
Your employer owes you a duty to take reasonable care not to expose you to working conditions that are likely to cause psychiatric injury or illness. Each case can differ greatly and we would need to look into the circumstances in detail to establish whether the conduct of your former colleague was unreasonable and whether your employer failed to take reasonable care not to expose you to any injury arising out of her behavior. The time limit for bringing a claim is the three-year anniversary of the date of the “breach” so on your instructions you should bring the claim before February 2017.
If we can establish that the colleagues’ behavior was unacceptable and/or that your employer breached their duty then it will be for medical experts to determine whether that breach caused your anxiety and depression and subsequent Fibromyalgia.
It is definitely worth investigating whether you have a valid claim and I would urge you to instruct a solicitor as soon as you are able and well in advance of February 2017.
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