Judgment No. 3092
1. WHO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 10,000 euros.
2. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 1,000 euros.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
"It must [...] be observed that, by any standards, a delay of 42 months in completing the processing of a compensation claim [...] is unreasonable."
procedure before the tribunal; claim; delay; compensation
Considerations 16 to 18
With respect to the claim for exemplary damages, the Tribunal notes that in general these awards are meant to sanction bias, ill will, malice, bad faith, and other improper purpose. Although the complainant broadly alleges bias, conflict of interest, malice, bad faith, and other improper motivation in her pleadings, she does not separately analyse the grounds upon which an award of exemplary damages could rest. In Judgment 2762 involving similar allegations, under 25, the Tribunal held that:
“the main thrust of the complaint is the allegation of abuse of authority, conflict of interest, bias and bad faith […]. At this juncture, it should be noted that in the complainant’s submissions there is no separate analysis for each of these allegations. Instead, the complainant uses the terms almost interchangeably. For the purpose of this discussion, it is not necessary to engage in a separate legal analysis for each of the allegations.”
Further, in Judgment 2293, under 12, the Tribunal noted:
“Although to act in bad faith is always to mismanage, the reverse is not the case and honest mistakes or even sheer stupidity will not, without more, be enough. Bad faith requires an element of malice, ill will, improper motive, fraud or similar dishonest purpose.”
In the present case, a review of the overall procedure and the Administration’s specific decisions and conduct, which the complainant alleges demonstrate improper purposes or motives, are equally amenable to explanations that do not involve bad faith, but rather a lack of diligence in processing the claim in a timely manner. Accordingly, the Tribunal concludes that an award of exemplary damages is not warranted in the circumstances.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2293, 2762
exemplary damages; bad faith
complaint allowed; delay in internal procedure