McNicol v Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance Limited: CA 26 Jul 2002

The Disability Rights Commission sought leave to intervene in a claim between the parties for disability discrimination.
Held: The Commission has important duties, but that did not give it the right, save in exceptional circumstances, to intervene to make representations in an action before a court or tribunal.
Mummery LJ said that the approach a court should adopt when faced with medical evidence as to mental impairment is as follows: ‘The essential question in each case is whether, on sensible interpretation of the relevant evidence, including the expert medical evidence and reasonable inferences which can be made from all the evidence, the applicant can fairly be described as having a physical or mental impairment.’


The Vice-Chancellor, Lord Justice Mummery, Lord Justice Wall


Times 26-Aug-2002, Gazette 03-Oct-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 1074, [2002] ICR 1498, [2002] IRLR 711, [2002] Emp LR 1097, (2003) 71 BMLR 1




Disability Rights Commission Act 1999


England and Wales


Appeal fromRugamel v Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd; McNicol v Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance Ltd EAT 28-Aug-2001
Both cases questioned the extent, as a disability, of functional or psychological ‘overlay’, where there may be no medical condition underlying the symptoms which the employee claims to be present. Neither claimant had asserted any psychological . .

Cited by:

CitedBailey v Warre CA 7-Feb-2006
The claimant had been severely injured in a road traffic accident. His claim was compromised and embodied in a court order, but later a question was raised as to whether he had had mental capacity at the time to make the compromise he had.
CitedJ v DLA Piper UK Llp EAT 15-Jun-2010
Job offer to Claimant withdrawn allegedly as a result of her disclosing a history of depression – On a preliminary issue Tribunal holds that at the material time . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.174426