Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

O'Neill vs Dominick Healy & Sons

308 words (1 pages) Case Summary

11th Jan 2024 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Legal Case Summary

O'Neill vs Dominick Healy & Sons Ltd. (1984) FSR 4

A legal discourse on the liability of an employer for psychological injuries suffered by an employee due to work-related stress.


The Facts of the case revolve around Mr. O'Neill, the plaintiff, who was employed by Dominick Healy & Sons Ltd. For a significant period, Mr. O’Neill was exposed to a high-stress work environment, which he was not adequately trained to manage. The increased levels of stress led to psychological harm, resulting in a nervous breakdown. As a result, Mr. O’Neill was unable to continue employment.


The legal issues in this case were whether an employer owes a duty of care to an employee against psychiatric injury due to work-related stress, and whether the employer was in breach of that duty. The concept of causing reasonable foreseeability of psychological harm, in light of the work environment and knowledge of the employee's inability to cope, was also examined.


The court held in favour of Mr. O’Neill. It was established that employers owe a duty of care to their employees, which includes ensuring their mental well-being is not compromised by the working conditions, and they could be held liable for breach of this duty of care. The court affirmed that Dominick Healy & Sons Ltd. had breached its duty by failing to provide adequate support and training to Mr. O’Neill, by persistently exposing him to a high-stress work environment, and due to their lack of action when signs of psychological distress were evident. Hence, the defendant was held liable for the psychiatric injury suffered by the plaintiff.


O'Neill vs Dominick Healy & Sons Ltd. (1984) FSR 4

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles