Stott v Leadec Ltd UKEAT/0263/19/LA

Adjournment application for assessment of the Claimant’s capacity to litigate. Application granted.

The Claimant, who is disabled by reason of a mental impairment (namely, anxiety), was dismissed by the Respondent for breaching company policy following a final written warning for similar misconduct, and he brought ET proceedings. The ET found that there was no disability discrimination, the dismissal had not been substantively or procedurally unfair and, at the Respondent's application, the Claimant must pay a contribution towards its costs. The Claimant appealed. Although the Claimant had personally settled the form ET1, represented himself before the ET, settled the Notice of Appeal and settled a skeleton argument for the Preliminary Hearing, he was accompanied at the Preliminary Hearing by an ELAAS representative, acting as a friend of the Court, who had concerns about the Claimant's litigation capacity. She referred to (1) an order made in unrelated possession and committal proceedings in 2019 appointing the Claimant's father as his litigation friend, following the Court's determination that he lacked litigation capacity, and (2) a medical certificate indicating that the Claimant lacked capacity to conduct those proceedings, and asked for the Preliminary Hearing to be adjourned to enable the Claimant to seek a suitable litigation friend and to allow for a capacity assessment to take place.

The EAT held that there was reason to suspect that the Claimant's litigation capacity may be absent, and so it postponed the Preliminary Hearing and ordered a medical report directed at the questions which a judge would need to address when determining the Claimant's capacity to litigate and making all appropriate orders.

Published: 04/06/2020 15:35

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