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Clark v Chief Constable of Essex

Where a claim in negligence against a defendant was based upon the principle of vicarious liability for the acts and omissions of a defendant’s employees, and upon alleged breaches of duties of care and other duties owed by a defendant to a claimant, and where, in that claim, it was alleged that those for whom the defendant was vicariously liable had deliberately bullied or victimised the claimant, but had unintentionally inflicted psychological injury, it was necessary to the success of the claim that the injury should have been foreseeable.

29 September 2006

The claimant former police officer (C) claimed damages for personal injuries allegedly occasioned by the actions of police officers employed by the defendant chief constable (D). C had, as a detective constable, been the officer in charge of a major police investigation, and had held the status of acting sergeant. In the course of the investigation C complained to senior officers of the conduct of a senior police officer involved (K), and of K’s being oppressive to C. Thereafter, C and K made a number of complaints about each other. K then became C’s line manager. A subsequent meeting involving senior police officers led, essentially, to C losing his rank of detective constable. As the trial arising from the police investigation began, a certain senior police officer (B) to whom C had made complaints about K, threatened C, advising him that K and another were considering an action for slander against C, depending on what C said at the trial. C then retired from active service on...

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