Former hairdresser 'intimidated and frightened' by former employer after she was sacked
A 31-YEAR-OLD former hairdresser, who was allegedly intimidated and frightened by her ex-employer after she was sacked, has been awarded €25,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Lindsey Bright, who sued Patridge Limited (in liquidation), which traded as Boston Brand Bars, said that in January 2012 she was a manager at the Balbriggan salon in Millfield Shopping Centre when the incident happened.
Barrister Pat Purcell, counsel for Bright, said the then managing director approached her, accused her of theft and larceny and told her to leave.
Bright told the court the managing director told her to collect her belongings but when she had tried to do so, he had prevented her from taking her items from her locker.
She claimed she was in shock and asked him why she was being sacked but was told to keep quiet. The court heard the man, who was six feet two inches tall, refused to let her pass to access her locker.
She Judge Karen Fergus that after she eventually managed to collect a few items, he tried to grab them. He had been incredibly angry and had “pushed past” her and had grabbed her hand to stop her from taking items off the wall.
Bright, with an address at Castleknock Brook, Castleknock, Dublin, but who now lives in Darwin, Australia, said the incident lasted 20 minutes but it had felt “like hours.”
She had been terrified, petrified and shaking. Her sleep had been disturbed following the incident and she had later needed to attend her GP, complaining of exhaustion.
Mr Purcell said Ms Bright suffered anxiety and attended counselling sessions. She had been prescribed anti-depressant medication. She sued her ex-employer, with a registered address at Erris Square, Waterville, Blanchardstown, Dublin, for personal injuries.
Counsel said the company was in liquidation and its liquidator was on notice of the legal proceedings. He said judgment in default of appearance had already been obtained against the defendant and today’s case was one of assessment of the damages only.
Counsel said Ms Bright had won an Unfair Dismissals claim against the defendant at the Employment Appeals Tribunal but had not been able to recover any money yet.
Judge Fergus said she was satisfied Ms Bright had suffered a frightening and intimidating experience which had left her traumatised for some time.
She said Ms Bright had made a full recovery and had started a new career in project management in Australia. She awarded her €25,000 damages.