Day 097 - 06 Mar 95 - Page 02
1 Monday, 6th March, 1995.
3 (In Chambers)
5 MR. JUSTICE BELL: Ms. Steel, I propose to mention the fact of
6 your letter and tell Mr. Rampton about that. I propose to
7 tell Mr. Rampton the fact of what is -- just the fact --
8 attached to it, the other letter, do you understand, and
9 also the matter which you are content I should mention. We
10 are in chambers, in fact, are we not? Then we will see
11 where we go from there.
13 Mr. Rampton, I have received a letter from Ms. Steel this
14 morning. Attached to it is a letter from her doctor.
15 I should make it clear at the start that I consider it
16 perfectly proper that she has written to me and there is
17 nothing which would go in any way towards any of the actual
18 issues in the case in either the letter or the letter from
19 her doctor which is attached to it.
21 She is anxious that I should not divulge any more details
22 save to say that she is suffering from stress -- I will say
23 no more than that -- which has affected her health. The
24 reason that she has written is to ask that this be taken
25 into account, not only when considering breaks for
26 preparation time which she says are appreciated, but also
27 breaks, in effect, in order to stay healthy.
29 I am not asking for any comment from you at this stage
30 because I want to speak to Ms. Steel again. Do not stand
31 up. Just stay where you are.
33 I appreciate that anyone would want to be concerned about
34 the divulging of details about their personal health. Do
35 you actually have a copy of the doctor's letter with you?
37 MS. STEEL: Yes.
39 MR. JUSTICE BELL: You do. I would like you to think again
40 about whether in chambers your letter to me and the letter
41 from your doctor cannot be disclosed to those who represent
42 McDonald's. The reason for that is twofold. In some ways
43 neither your letter nor that of the doctor, in my view,
44 disclose anything which might not have been apparent to any
45 observant person in this court. In fact, within the last
46 few weeks it has been on the tip of my tongue to ask you if
47 you felt all right, but I have not done so -- perhaps
48 I should have done -- but there we are.
50 There is nothing in either letter which relates to any
51 issue in the case, that is, which might affect my decision
52 in any way on the case, but it is very difficult if a
53 debate arises as to whether we should have a break here or
54 there and, if so, for how long, unless both sides have the
55 same information if it is related to the health of one of
56 the parties. Do you understand?
58 MS. STEEL: I do, but I do not really want to give copies of
59 the letter to the Plaintiffs.