Birmingham bus driver has unfair dismissal claim rejected after causing accident when threatened by youths
A Birmingham bus driver has had a compensation claim for unfair dismissal against National Express West Midlands rejected after he was suspended and dismissed for gross misconduct for causing a £60,000 crash involving three cars, when two youths put him in fear of his safety.
Mr Delroy Senior, 52, explained that after stopping the number 46 double decker, the two youths instigated trouble.
“One started kicking in the glass door and the other ran round to my cab and tried to force open the cab door to get at me,” said Mr Senior.
He went on to say he feared for his safety, and attempted to drive the bus away but the vehicle moved forward and crashed into a stationary car in front.
A concertina crash followed involving two other stationary cars, the tribunal was told. One passenger was slightly injured in one car and two vehicles had to be written off.
In spite of a clean record since he became a driver in 2002, Mr Senior was suspended and dismissed for gross misconduct. A compensation claim for unfair dismissal against his employers followed, which was successfully opposed by Mr Frank Sutcliffe, representative of the respondents. Mr Sutcliffe accused Mr Senior of driving negligence.
Tribunal judge Mr Peter Rose QC said Mr Senior had told the tribunal that, in panic, he must have accidentally caught the accelerator which caused the bus to move forward.
“Sixty thousand pounds worth of damage was caused and a car passenger suffered a minor injury, but the consequences could have been much worse,” said Mr Rose.
“The tribunal decision is the dismissal was within the bounds of reasonable responses by the respondent and the compensation claim for unfair dismissal is rejected.”
Mr Senior, who is now unemployed, said he would consider appealing against the decision of the tribunal.