City trader sues after 'stress of work made her suicidal'

A City trader who claims she became suicidal through stress at work launched a High Court action for damages yesterday.

Helen McNallen, 36, is suing Commerzbank AG which suspended her in January 2000 after she went home early and left her position uncovered, resulting in a loss of more than €6m (£4m).

Her counsel, Timothy Briden, told Mr Justice Cresswell that Ms McNallen, of Petersfield, Hampshire, was earning up to £200,000 a year as a senior pan-European trader at the German bank, which she joined in August 1998.

She was admitted to the Cardinal psychiatric clinic in Windsor, Berkshire in March 1999, and, in January 2000, to the Priory clinic in London, after having suicidal thoughts, Mr Briden said. Ms McNallen is now on long-term sick leave and receives 75 per cent of her pre-bonus salary under the bank's health insurance scheme.

The hearing, which will liability alone, resumes today.