Justice has considered that a person who was experiencing high-stress situations in his work environment and made the decision to take his own life because he could not take it anymore was the victim of a work accident. This is stated in a ruling from the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM) in which it establishes a link between the poor working conditions experienced by an employee of the company Mercados Centrales de Abastecimiento de Madrid (Mercasa) and the fatal decision that ended taking. For this reason, the TSJM has rejected the appeal filed by the company against a ruling by the Social Court No. 43 of Madrid of November 2022 in which it already recognized this link.
“It seems obvious […] that the origin of the mental situation of the deceased is undoubtedly related to his work, […] “the existence of a causal link between the act of suicide and the anxiety or work stress clinic that he suffered has been proven,” states the Court’s ruling, to which EL PAÍS has had access. The excessive workload to which the worker had been subjected when, in 2017, Mercasa was the subject of an investigation by the National Court – after which 20 managers were charged, among which the deceased was not included -, and From that moment on, this task – which consisted of compiling the company’s financial and accounting documents at the request of the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard – was added to those it had already been carrying out previously, along with the poor labor relations that developed both with colleagues and superiors turned out to be a fatal cocktail for the deceased.
The worker sent several letters to his partner, his son, his colleagues, and his boss to warn them of what was happening. “They reduce staff, they notify me late about things, they act on their own, they attack me above, below too and on the sides I am a collateral victim of the times,” he said in an email that he sent to himself. Regarding his superior, in the documents he warns that she has made his “life impossible,” that she has plotted against him, isolated him, yelled at him, ignored him, and played with the girls’ connivance to isolate him.
“It is not apparent from the letters written by the actor, in which he wants to explain at all costs the reason for his decision, that there were other reasons for taking his life, such as his mother’s health problems, or the death of his son. father, more than a year ago,” the Court states in its ruling. Furthermore, it emphasizes that there is no “psychiatric history or previous pathologies that could unlink the death of the actor, and therefore we must conclude that the decision to take his life was closely and directly linked to his work, both due to the overload that “It prevented him from resting properly and having a social and family life.” A situation that “the company was aware of through the Prevention Delegates” and that “did nothing to solve,” he adds.
In the first ruling issued by Social Court No. 43 of Madrid in November 2022, and which the company appealed, the ruling indicated that the deceased “has an excess of hours worked and although it is established that he works fewer hours in person, it is accredited As we have already said, it is connected every day, including Saturdays and Sundays and holidays and also at night.” An assessment that has now been confirmed by the TSJM.
The ruling also recognizes that although there are different triggering factors for a suicide, and that, therefore, there is no “objective rule to determine which of all the factors was decisive,” it does grant, in this specific case, that The content of the letters and emails “link the suicide to the work-related stress situation” from which the deceased suffered.
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