Judgment No. 3963
1. The EPO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 3,500 euros.
2. It shall also pay him 500 euros in costs.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant alleges that the Organisation has breached its duty of care in relation to possible taxation of the invalidity allowance.
complaint allowed; duty to inform
Having regard to the way in which the questions were formulated, the Organisation supplied answers which may be deemed adequate. The Tribunal therefore finds that, in the circumstances, the EPO honoured its obligation to provide information and its duty of care. Indeed, as the Tribunal observed in Judgment 3213, under 7, whilst international organisations have a duty of care towards their employees and must provide clear rules and regulations as well as clarifications of such when requested, they cannot be solely responsible for every situation stemming from a misunderstanding of those rules.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3213
organisation's duties; duty to inform; duty of care
The complainant also requests compensation in the amount of 5,000 euros for the moral injury caused by the excessive duration of the proceedings which, he contends, lasted “more than [six] years”. It must be noted that the duration alleged by the complainant includes phases after October 2007 when informal requests were made. However, for the purpose of determining the duration of the proceedings, the starting date must be deemed to be that on which the internal appeal was filed, namely 7 May 2010. As the date on which it was dismissed was 5 February 2014, the internal appeal proceedings lasted almost four years and not “more than [six] years”. Nevertheless, the Tribunal considers that this duration is still excessive. The EPO has not explained why it needed virtually two years as from the date on which the internal appeal was filed to submit its position thereupon. In view of the foregoing, the Tribunal finds that the complainant must be awarded moral damages in the amount of 3,500 euros for the inordinate length of the internal appeal proceedings.
internal appeal; delay; delay in internal procedure