Yerrakalva v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council & Anor - Lying by a claimant does not automatically justify a costs award [2010] EAT

A claimant's withdrawal of a claim coupled with a finding that they told 1 or 2 (non-grave) lies at a hearing is not of itself sufficient to mean a costs award should be made against them by an employment tribunal. It is imperative to take into account the "nature, gravity and effect" of the claimant's conduct before deciding whether to make a cost award against them and if so, what amount it should be.

In August 2005 Mrs Yerrakalva brought proceedings against Barnsley MBC for race and disability discrimination in the Sheffield Employment Tribunal. The disability discrimination claim related to alleged injuries to her spine/neck said to be caused by an earlier injury at work. A Pre-Hearing Review was scheduled for 3 days but ended up only being part-heard during that time and, subsequently, the Employment Judge was seriously unwell. After an extended delay in proceedings it was planned that the PHR would be re-heard by another EJ, but before that was arranged Mrs Yerrakalva withdrew her claim against the Council. Barnsley MBC then applied for costs.

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