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Claimant ordered to pay £20,000 toward Respondent's costs after pursuing weak claim as "vendetta" against manager

View profile for Martin Cornforth
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In the case of  Mr C V David v Jaguar Landrover Ltd an employment tribunal sitting in Birmingham has upheld the Respondent's application for costs in the sum of £20,000.

The Claimant brought claims for constructive dismissal and race discrimination. The Tribunal found that the Claimant's relationship with his line manager had deteriorated after she raised informal performance concerns. The line manager had also raised performance concerns with the Claimant's colleague who, the Tribunal found, responded well. However, the Tribunal found that the Claimant refused to engage with his line manager who they deemed to be, "professional, caring and compassionate."

The Tribunal found that that the Claimant had been dishonest in pursuing the race discrimination claim, finding that he did not genuinely believe that the treatment was on the grounds of race.

The Claimant's claims failed and the Respondent applied for it's legal costs incurred in defending the claim. The Tribunal noted that the Claimant had rejected an offer of £15,000 prior to the hearing. The Tribunal found that the Claimant has unreasonably pursued a weak claim after unreasonably refusing a serious offer to settle. The Tribunal also found that the claim was vexatious, having been pursued as a "vendetta" against his line manager for raising performance concerns. The Tribunal noted that the line manager had been hurt by the allegations and had given evidence that her mental health had suffered.

Before making an order for costs the Tribunal assessed the Claimant's ability to pay. The Claimant had indicated that he was intending to relocate and the Tribunal noted that the Clamant had £50k equity in his house. The Tribunal decided that, "it is not unreasonable to expect this equity to be used in settlement of the respondents costs."

This decision is a reminder that although costs are not usually awarded to the winning party, the Tribunal has a discretion to award costs if it takes the view that a party has conducted the proceedings in an unreasonable and/or vexatious manner.


Our team of employment lawyers have valuable experience of defending Employment Tribunal claims from the outset of responding to a claim right through to the final hearing and any application for costs.

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