Mr Brockie, who at the time was a senior associate in PwC’s audit department, claims he got “so drunk” that after 10pm he has no recollection of the events and was later found lying in the street after falling.
‘Persistent cognitive symptoms’
He suffered a “moderate-severe brain injury” and returned to work about six months after the incident, initially working part-time, according to the claim, which adds that he still has “persistent cognitive symptoms.”
He is suing PwC for alleged negligence, seeking interim damages of more than £200,000 and an order that he is entitled to further payments in the future.
He says the company is vicariously responsible for the negligence of Simon Fradgley, an audit department manager who arranged for the drinks and “failed to take reasonable care of the safety of co-workers.”
Mr Fradgley is said to have used his work email to invite PwC employees and although “it wasn’t mandatory to attend, there was a lot of pressure to do so”.
According to High Court documents, Mr. Fradgley’s invitation read: “I expect an absolute turnout from everyone who attended last year’s invitation. Nothing less than a certified letter countersigned by a licensed physician will suffice as [sic] excuse.”
Mr. Brockie, who had attended a similar event also hosted by Mr. Fradgley in 2018, stated that the event’s rules “not only encourage but make a competitive virtue of excessive, rapid and prolonged consumption of alcohol over many hours from around 6 pm”.
He stated that it was “clearly foreseeable” that someone could get hurt and alleged that another PwC worker suffered a serious injury in 2016 and later fell ill.
PwC stopped the annual event, which had been going on for about seven years, after Brockie’s accident in 2019, court documents state.
The firm said: “We are unable to comment on the details of a matter that is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings.
“As a responsible employer, we are committed to providing a safe, healthy and inclusive culture for all of our people. We also expect anyone who attends social events to be responsible and ensure their own safety and that of others.”
PwC has yet to present a defense in the case. Fradgley, who is not a defendant in the case, did not respond to a PwC request for comment.
Brockie and his attorney declined to comment.
Fradgley and Brockie still work at PwC.