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Bus driver unfairly dismissed for crashing bus into house

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Robert Corrin v Department of Infrastructure a bus driver who was sacked after an accident that saw his runaway single-decker crash into a house in Onchan has been awarded £60,000 in compensation.

Robert Corrin was fired after leaving his bus without putting the handbrake on but an employment tribunal was told he hadn’t been given sufficient training. Mr Corrin had stopped his bus, in Onchan in July 2018, after being distracted by a flashing blind. He applied the hold brake rather than the handbrake but was unaware using the isolator switch to reset the blind would disengage the hold brake. As a result the single decker rolled and hit a property.

Following an internal investigation, Mr Corrin was dismissed, with his appeal being rejected. However the tribunal had heard that not only was proper training not given to drivers as to when to use the hold-brake and why it shouldn’t be relied upon. It had also ruled that ‘the dismissal was unfair because of the inadequate investigations that had been made and the flawed procedure followed’.

And added: ‘On a proper investigation, facts would have been found which would have put the circumstances of the bus running away into a fair and proper perspective.’

It said that, while he was entitled to about £415,000 in lost earnings, benefits, rights and free bus travel, a compensation cap meant the panel could only award £56,000.

The panel awarded that sum, coupled with the basic award of £4,816, taking the total payment to more than £60,000.

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