Eva Carneiro’s Constructive Dismissal Claim Heads For Court After No Settlement Is Agreed

Employment Expert From Irwin Mitchell Comments On The Ex-Chelsea FC Doctors’ Case

06.01.2016

Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Former Chelsea FC doctor Eva Carneiro is taking her case for constructive dismissal to court in June after the parties failed to reach a settlement at the preliminary hearing held today.

Specialist employment lawyers from national law firm Irwin Mitchell warned last year that a legal case was possible after Eva had her role downgraded after public criticism from former manager Jose Mourinho.

Mrs Carneiro is suing the club for constructive dismissal and breach of contract and attended the London South Employment Tribunal in Croydon for the preliminary hearing which was held in private.

There is a separate but connected legal claim against Jose Mourinho for alleged discrimination.

The former team doctor had her role downgraded after Mourinho called his medical staff, including Eva, “impulsive and naïve” and said they “didn’t understand the game” after treating Eden Hazard during their opening match of the season against Swansea.

Carneiro, who seemed to be simply following the laws of the game, ran on the pitch to check on the welfare of the player after he went down injured. However, this riled Mourinho as his team were already down to ten men after their goalkeeper had been sent off.

Jose Mourinho subsequently downgraded Eva’s role and confirmed that she would no longer attend matches or training sessions which were a significant part of her job. Despite being roundly criticised by health professionals, he refused to back down which eventually led to Eva leaving the club in September 2015, resigning from her employment.

The manager then lost his job in December after a terrible run of results in the Premier League with a number of pundits highlighting the issues he faced with Eva as the start of the problems that ultimately led to his sacking.

Expert Opinion
“To be successful in this case for constructive dismissal, Eva Carneiro will have to show that her employer, or Mourinho himself as he represented her employers, effectively repudiated her contract and that she resigned because of this.

“Many cases involve the “drip drip” of negative comments and behaviour which taken together fundamentally undermines the relationship between employer and employee. The final incident is often quite minor but can be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

“Here, there may only have been one incident. It was however significant and was in a public arena which exposed the issue to thousands (if not millions) of people.

“Mourinho was not present today and neither was any senior figure from the Chelsea hierarchy but they will be expected to attend the next hearing or could face a fine.

“Interestingly Chelsea FC lodged their formal defence against Carneiro's constructive dismissal claim just one day after Mourinho was sacked. A lot could hinge on whether the football club choose to support their former manager and his interpretation of events when the hearing is heard in June.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner