Edey v London Borough of Lambeth & Anor [2022] EAT 94

Appeal against the striking out of various complaints. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant brought several complaints against the two Respondents which were all struck out either on the grounds of issue estoppel or abuse of process. The claims followed the dismissal of the Claimant after a disciplinary process following allegations that the Claimant had sent anonymous and malicious emails. The laptop from which these emails were allegedly sent could not be found by the Claimant who had taken it home while on sick leave. It was the Respondent's case that analysis of the laptop might reveal whether the Claimant had sent the emails. The Claimant appealed the strike outs on the following grounds:

a. That it was an error to conclude that a previous Tribunal finding that the Claimant deliberately withheld her laptop was binding in the later claim.

b. That it was an error to strike out the claim on the basis a police report was dealt with in a previous Tribunal Judgment because there was a separate and later report to the police.

c. That it was an error to consider that complaints in the further particulars were not raised in the original particulars of claim.

The EAT allowed the appeal on ground 2 but dismissed the other grounds. On the first ground, it was an error for the ET to consider that the earlier ET finding created an issue estoppel because it was not necessary finding for the claims before the earlier tribunal. However, the decision to strike out was made under rule 37 ET rules as to reasonable prospects of success and abuse of process was also considered by the ET. The second ground was allowed - the ET recognised that there had been a later report to the police, however, it considered strike out was appropriate even thought this second report was not addressed in the earlier judgment. Issue estoppel could not apply as none of the matters raised by the Claimant (and permitted to proceed to appeal) had been dealt with in the earlier tribunal judgment. In terms of the abuse of process element therefore there had been no credibility findings on point at all. Dismissing the third ground of appeal, the EAT concluded that the ET was entitled to consider that complaints made were limited to specific forms of discrimination.


Published: 14/07/2022 09:18

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