B Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd [2015]

Posted In: Case Law
  • Case Reference
    UKSC 17
  • Legal Body
    UK Supreme Court / House of Lords (UKSC/UKHL)
  • Type of Claim / Jurisdiction
    Contracts of Employment
Issues covered: Death in service benefits; Investigation; Suicide

Mr Braganza has a chief engineer on an oil tanker and he disappeared whilst in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean. No-one knows what happened to him but the employer concluded that he had committed suicide, and denied his widow contractual death benefits. Had the investigation been extensive enough? More importantly, does evidence have to be of a higher magnitude when behaviour, like suicide, is inherently improbable? 

The UK Supreme Court (by a 3:2 majority) has overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal that had denied Mr Braganza's widow the contractual entitlements. It found suicide to be 'inherently improbable' and that many reasons, other than suicide, might have accounted

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This article is correct at 14/08/2015

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