A bus driver who was dismissed after the top of a double decker was sheared off when he hit a bridge has won a court battle to take his claim for unfair dismissal.
James Reilly's case was originally thrown out at a pre-hearing review by an employment judge in Dundee because it had no reasonable prospect of success.
But the decision was overturned by judge Lady Smith at the Employment Appeal Tribunal and her ruling has now secured the backing of three judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after an unsuccessful appeal by Travel Dundee.
Scotland's second most senior judge, the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, said the employment judge "made a serious error" in his decision.
Lord Gill said: "It is quite clear, in my view, that the employment judge was not entitled to take it upon himself to strike out the claim."
He said there existed factual issues in the case that demonstrated that Mr Reilly's claim "can be properly resolved only by a hearing before a full tribunal".
Mr Reilly, who had a good work record, was driving the double decker from Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to a Tesco store in November 2009 when the collision occurred.
Part of the normal route was closed off and he had to take a diversion in the hospital grounds, but took the wrong one and hit an overhead walkway.
The accident had cost Tayside Public Transport, which trades as Travel Dundee, about £60,000 it was said.
A disciplinary hearing was held the following month and Mr Reilly was told he was to be dismissed for gross misconduct.
Mr Reilly took his case to the employment tribunal maintaining he was not guilty of gross misconduct and that the disciplinary procedure was unfair.
It was also maintained the employer had been comparatively lenient in its treatment of other employees who had accidents or drove unsafely.
He said the accident happened because he was not properly advised about the change of route.
At the pre-hearing review his solicitor said there were factual disputes that could only be resolved after a full hearing and there was a dispute over the adequacy of the information given to him about the diversion.
But despite this the employment judge took the "draconian step" of striking out the claim brought by the driver.
Lord Gill, who heard the appeal with Lady Paton and Lord Drummond Young, said that Lady Smith was right in setting that decision aside.
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