Mr Harding was employed as a manager of a pub and was tasked with improving
its profitability prior to the sale of the business. In doing so, he worked
long hours in difficult conditions and after a period of 18 months suffered
a heart attack. He then claimed damages for personal injury, blaming the stress
of the job. Although his claim was successful in the County Court, the decision
has now been overturned by the Court of Appeal.
As Harding had no history of being especially vulnerable, and although he
had attended his GP to complain of stress, his medical history was not known
to his employer. Harding had complained to his employer about the pub generally,
but he had not complained about any potential danger to his health. As a result,
the ill health he suffered was not held to be reasonably foreseeable. As no
prior warning had been given to the employer to alert them to the risk to Harding's
health, it was held that no breach of duty had occurred.