When a director sustained an injury at work, he sought compensation from his company. He claimed that it had not fulfilled its duty to comply with health and safety law.

The claim, however, had a twist. The director was the sole director and shareholder of the company…

He was effectively attempting to sue himself.

Accordingly, the claimant was the only person who could act on behalf of the company to mount a defence to the claim.

At the first hearing, the Defendant company was found to have failed to comply with the relevant Health and Safety Regulations. However, the claimant was the person responsible for the breach. The fact that a breach of regulations had caused the accident was clearly established; the employer’s defence – that the employee responsible was to blame. If the company was unable to demonstrate this, that defence would fail.

However, where the sole director was the employee, the situation was different. The director could not argue against himself in that way. If he was ultimately responsible for the conduct of the company, he could not claim that the company had failed to prove that it had all it could to comply with the law when it was only through his acts that it could do so.


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