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Bus Driver Has Fainting Condition, Sues Company After Getting Fired

A rare medical condition, which makes people prone to fainting, has led to an unusual lawsuit between a bus driver and her employer.
Two Dublin Bus Alexander Dennis buses in Dublin, Ireland. Both are Volvo B7TL 1 photo
The condition is called Vasovagal Syncope, and it can make people who suffer from it to faint in stressful situations. Evidently, the fainting could happen in other scenarios, as do many medical conditions happen, so the link with stress is not a rule, but a contributing factor to the possibility of fainting. In some cases, the illness can be treated and prevented with medication or surgery.

The case we are referring has a 38-year-old named Claire McKevitt at the heart of the issue. She was hired by Dublin Bus in 2007 to drive on the company’s urban routes. Two years later, her health began to encounter issues, which were later diagnosed with the illness explained above.

Those problems added up to over 200 days of sick leave from July 2009 to February 2012. After that time, she went on permanent sick leave until April 2014, when the company retired her.

While the falls and blackout unit of St James’ Hospital in Dublin has cleared her to return to commercial driving work in 2014, her former employer refused to let Claire drive a bus again.

At the time, the chief medical officer of the company recommended that decision, and the transit operator motivated its decision with passenger safety concerns.

A lawsuit was filed against Dublin Bus, which was won on the count of unfair dismissal. Even after the appeal, which did not change the verdict, the public transit operator still had to pay damages to its former employee.

The Irish Independent notes that the bus company has taken the case to the High Court, where it requested to overturn the Circuit Court’s decision of unfair dismissal. The 38-year-old driver wants her old job back, while the company insists against it.

 
 
 
 
 

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