This decision was upheld by the EAT and the Court of Appeal.OTHER OPTIONS On appeal it was argued for Gainford Care Homes that other options, short of debarring them from further participation, should have been considered.
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They did so under rule 18(7) of the 2004 Tribunal Rules.
The current equivalent is rule 37(a) of Schedule 1 to .
Both sets of rules refer to “scandalous” behaviour, and provide for striking out where the tribunal considers that it is no longer possible to have a fair hearing in respect of the claim or response (or the part to be struck out).
The tribunal concluded that the intimidation so frightened the key witness that a fair trial, either of the merits, or of remedy, would no longer be possible, and therefore debarred Gainford Care Homes from taking any further part in the proceedings.
On the first day of the hearing, Mrs Roe was spoken to by one manager in an attempt to get her to drop her support for Ms Tipple’s case. At the end of that day another manager drove past Mrs Roe on a zebra crossing at speed, close enough that she only escaped injury by quick movement out of the way.
Video footage showed that this manager had sped out of the car park and driven the wrong way round a one way system, in order to reach the crossing in time.
The near-miss was also witnessed by a security guard and magistrate who gave witness evidence of it.
THE DECISION The tribunal considered an application to the employer’s responses to both Ms Tipple’s and Mrs Roe’s claims, and to bar it from taking any further part in the proceedings.
KEY TESTS The Court of Appeal’s judgment in Gainford Care Homes focused on the adequacy of reasoning arguments, but the key tests as to whether to debar an intimidating party from further participation in the proceedings were referred to in more detail in HHJ Peter Clark’s decision in the EAT.