McKevitt v Bus Atha Cliatha
EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CASE NO. UD991/2014
The Tribunal have carefully considered the evidence adduced over the three day hearing, the documentation submitted together with the legal submissions.
The claimant commenced employment with the respondent as a bus driver on the 8th September, 2007. In 2009 she began to experience difficulties in relation to her health. She had 23 periods of sick leave between July, 2009 and January, 2014. However, approximately 60 days were at the respondent's request, due to a work related injury.
Dr. L gave extensive evidence in relation to the claimant's multiple medical conditions. Emphasis was placed on one particular condition, i.e. vasovagal syncope. Dr. L stated that he had a responsibility not only to the claimant but to the respondent, its passengers and to the public atlarge. He was of the opinion that the risk of the claimant passing out at the wheel of the bus was high. The claimant's evidence contradicts the factual premise upon which Dr. L formed his opinion. She stated that she only ever passed out once and it was early in the morning when she got out of bed. That was the one and only time she passed out. She attended at the Falls and Blackout clinic (F&B clinic) at St. James Hospital. She remained under their care from July, 2012 until February, 2014. Following a series of tests the clinic certified the claimant fit to return to work and specifically stated that she was fit to resume driving both personally and commercially. In the month just prior to this Dr. L recommended that the claimant be retired on grounds of ill health. There are issues in relation to the procedures surrounding the making of a recommendation and the final decision which shall be dealt with later in this determination. Dr. W, the appeals officer, also stated that he too was of the opinion that she was not fit to drive for the respondent and should be retired on grounds of ill health. Following the recommendation the respondent received the opinion from the F&B clinic which said opinion contradicted both Dr. L's and Dr. W's opinion and both Dr. L and Dr. W neglected to take the Falls & Blackout clinic up on their offer to discuss the matter with them. The F&B clinic is Ireland's leading clinic in the area of Vasovagal Syncope and the final...
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