Lawyer claiming ‘psychiatric injury’ against Lord Advocate in £1.3m case

A lawyer who claims to have sustained a “psychiatric injury” whilst working for the Crown Office will have her £1.3 million damages claim heard in Scotland’s highest civil court.
The case is being heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.The case is being heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
The case is being heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Laura Malone, 53, is suing Scotland’s most senior prosecutor, the Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Lawyers for Ms Malone claim that, as her former boss, he did not do enough to stop her from suffering stress caused by overwork.

Ms Malone, from Shawlands in Glasgow, claims that she had to quit her job as a senior procurator fiscal depute 
after becoming ill with depression.

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She says her bosses did not do enough to prevent her mental health problems 
and is seeking the sum to compensate her for loss of earnings.

Now her claims will be assessed during an eight day hearing at the court in September. Judge Lord Pentland fixed the proceedings to take place following a procedural hearing yesterday.

According to legal papers lodged at the court in 2017, Ms Malone initially sued the former Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC.

He was appointed a high court judge in 2016 and the case will continue against the current holder of the position, James Wolffe QC.

Ms Malone brought the case to court almost three years after she left her employment with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in December 2014.

She first started working for the COPFS in September 1991. Ms Malone claims she left her position because she fell victim to stress that was created by overwork.

She says bosses at the prosecution service “ignored” her complaints and requests for help.

Ms Malone says her performance at work was continually rated as being of a “very high standard” up until 2010 when she started working for the COPFS’s health and safety unit.

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She claims that she was given no training in health and safety law and she did not receive any help from her managers.

Ms Malone says she began to feel tearful and stressful and she started to drink more. She says her bosses should have understood she suffered workplace stress because she was displaying physical manifestations of the condition.