The Court of Appeal have granted permission for the Defendant to appeal in this case in which the Claimant, Mrs Nichols, was an employee of Ladbrokes who had been awarded damages for psychological injury after being the victim of armed raiders.
The Claimant claimed that she suffered from psychological distress in November 2007 after an armed raid on the Ladbrokes shop in which she was working. She was forced at gun point to give the raiders money from the safe. She claimed damages on the basis that Ladbrokes had failed to provide a safe working environment.
The Claimant had argued that Ladbrokes should have employed a magnetic locking system, controlled by staff on the door of the shop for use after the hours of darkness and that failure to do so was a breach of duty.
At trial, Ladbrokes were found to have breached their duty in not fitting such a system and awarded £9,000 to the Claimant
Ladbrokes appealed on the basis that this ruling could open the floodgates for many other similar claims and could prove very expensive for the gambling industry.
In granting the appeal, the Court of Appeal said that “a finding of breach of duty arising from a failure to have such a policy would affect not just this shop, but a large proportion of the shops operated by the Defendant”.
The Court took into account the cost and scale of implementing such a policy. They took into account the number of shops owned by the Defendant, the cost of implementing the locking system in all of the shops and the potential for opening the floodgates on litigation of this kind.