Ex-Credit Suisse Trader Sues Bank Saying Job Made Him Depressed
A former Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) trader who says his job drove him to depression and thoughts of suicide sued the Swiss bank in London in a personal injury claim after losing a related employment tribunal case.
Asif Mohamedali, who earned as much as $4.3 million a year in the European credit trading team before he was fired in 2009, claimed overwork and bullying by his boss led him to be hospitalized with severe depression, according to a November court filing that was released last week.
When Mohamedali told his manager Eraj Shirvani he was struggling to cope, he says he was told to “pull yourself together” and called an expletive, according to the documents. Shirvani didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
It is the second time Mohamedali, 36, has sued the Swiss lender. A London employment tribunal rejected his lawsuit for unfair dismissal and discrimination in February.
Bankers suing their former employers have had a run of legal defeats in London since more than 100 Dresdner Kleinwort workers successfully sued Commerzbank AG for their bonuses in May. A blind Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc analyst, a fired UBS AG trader and a Credit Agricole SA (ACA) whistle-blower all lost employment tribunal cases.
“Credit Suisse will vigorously defend these allegations, particularly in light of the decision made by the judge in the claimant’s employment tribunal claim in February which found in favor of the bank and Eraj Shirvani,” Adam Bradbery, a spokesman for the Zurich-based lender, said in an e-mailed statement.
Mohamedali’s lawyer, Chanel Alexander, said her client was appealing the tribunal’s decision. She couldn’t specify how much was being sought in the personal injury claim as the damages weren’t yet quantifiable.
“We consider our client to have a good claim for damages based on the bank’s treatment,” she said in an e-mail.
Mohamedali was fired after the bank discovered he had carried out undisclosed personal trades that breached its code of conduct, the Employment Tribunal said.
The misconduct “was extremely serious” and justified the dismissal, Employment Tribunal Judge Jonathan Ferris said in February. Mohamedali’s evidence was “unconvincing,” he ruled.
Mohamedali said in the latest lawsuit that he spent several weeks in a hospital in 2009 and continues to suffer from depression and anxiety. His unit, which traded distressed debt, lost $25 million on one day that year when an investment defaulted.
He told his wife in 2009 he wanted to commit suicide.
Mohamedali said his work suffered because he was doing the job of several people, and had begun to suffer heart palpitations, nightmares and extreme sweating. Mohamedali argues the bank failed to provide any adequate system for managing his stress and breached its contract by permitting Shirvani’s behavior.
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