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Bank to face passive smoking claim

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The Clydesdale Bank has been left facing a £50,000 damages claim from former employee Nargaret Pacetta, after a judge’s ruling that her claim that passive smoking in the workplace caused chronic asthma was allowed to proceed to a full hearing.

Mrs Pacetta is seeking the damages from the bank having alleged that she had to inhale other smokers cigarette smoke even after a ban on smoking was introduced. She retired in 1996 on medical grounds after developing asthma which prevents her from climbing stairs unless she stops for breath.

Mrs Pacetta told the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday that neither she nor her husband smoked, and that she could not have an ordinary life visiting restaurants or public places where other people smoked. She blamed the bank for her condition saying that it had caused the condition by exposing her to unnecessary risk, and that at one branch she had to share a room with smokers which was a “converted cupboard”.

The bank said that a smoking ban was introduced in 1992, and that Mrs Pacetta’s condition was an allergic bronchial asthma that was not related to her employment.

A date has yet to be fixed for the hearing.

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