An error has been pointed out in the bulletin below (issued Monday, 27th September 2010), which stated that the EAT suggested apportionment of damages between the provider and recipient of a reference to reflect their culpability. In fact, the parties had agreed that approach and it was not endorsed by the EAT. An amended version appears below.
[Thanks to Ed McFarlane of EEF for providing this case summary]
The EAT (Underhill P) has handed down its decision in Bullimore v Pothecary Witham Weld Solicitors, which is authority for the proposition that the provider of a discriminatory reference can be liable for loss of earnings even if the recipient also victimises a Claimant on the back of it.
The solicitor Claimant was victimised by a reference from a previous firm and a prospective employer withdrew a job offer. The Tribunal held that the claim for loss of future earnings against the reference provider was too remote. The EAT disagreed, observing that this was a not uncommon form of victimisation, and if the reference recipient were not also motivated by victimisation, the Claimant would have no remedy for loss of earnings.
The Claimant's appeal against quantum for injury to feelings ignoring inflation failed, the EAT observing that whilst such awards should be in "today's money", the Tribunal had clearly had regard to the current value of money.