Andalucian high court decides judge died of overwork

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THE Andalucian High Court (TSJA) has related the death of a Sevilla provincial court judge to overwork and asked for it to be considered a work accident.
Magistrate Joaquin Sanchez Ugena took over the presidency of section one of Sevilla Provincial Courts in January 2009 following a successful career in Huelva, yet he was unaware that it would be his final post.
Sanchez Ugena died after a heart attack last May, and the TSJA has decided it was caused by his excessive workload and asked the General Judicial Powers Council to declare his death to have been a work accident and award his family an extra pension.
The Andalucian courts consider it proven that anxiety, depression and stress caused his death, arguing that he had reduced the number of pending cases considerably since arriving in Sevilla by working until 10pm almost every day, including weekends and bank holidays.
While at the end of 2008 the department he took charge of had 310 cases pending, by the end of 2009 he had reportedly reduced the number to just 71.
Yet although he reportedly treated every case as an urgent one and got through a higher than average amount of work, he was given a 10-day suspension by the Judicial Council in November 2013 for inattention to his cases.
In May 2014 the Supreme Courts accepted his appeal and declared the suspension to be null.
The judge currently studying the case declared: “The matter caused great embarrassment to him as he had always put his heart and soul into his work.”




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