Judgment has been given in this High Court employment case, in which Mark Sutton QC and Laith Dilaimi successfully represented the Defendant NHS Foundation Trust.
The Defendant Trust had conducted disciplinary investigations into the Claimant, a consultant cardiologist in its employment, and had concluded that there was a case to answer in relation to allegations potentially amounting to gross misconduct, namely that the Claimant deliberately gave a misleading account of the management of a patient by a consultant colleague. The Defendant Trust decided to hold a disciplinary hearing.
The Claimant, who had brought two previous applications for interim injunctions against the Defendant in relation to this disciplinary process, now sought from the High Court a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from holding a disciplinary hearing. The Claimant argued that: the disciplinary process had been conducted in breach of the Claimant’s contract of employment; there was no case to answer in relation to the allegations of gross misconduct; and the Defendant’s conduct of the disciplinary process had destroyed any confidence he might have had in it.
A significant legal issue which the High Court had to resolve in this case was the approach that it should take when faced with an allegation that there was insufficient evidence to support the employer’s decision to refer a case to a disciplinary hearing and that to do so would amount to a breach of the contract of employment.
Elisabeth Laing J. dismissed the Claimant’s application for an injunction. She found the case manager had reached a rational decision, in good faith, that there was a case to answer; an assessment with which she also agreed. The judge found that none of the procedural irregularities in the disciplinary process was serious enough, whether on its own or cumulatively, to justify the grant of an injunction.
Mark Sutton QC and Laith Dilaimi were instructed by Andrew Rowland and Alessandra Gettins of Capsticks Solicitors LLP.
To view the full judgment, please click here,
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