Italy's highest court has ordered Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson to pay €859,000 in compensation to an Italian family after one of its employees died of a heart attack due to work-related stress.
In the final ruling of an appeal process, the Supreme Court in Rome laid responsibility for the the father-of-one's death on the company because of the stress his “excessive workload” put him under, Italian paper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
Ericsson had fought the ruling.
"Ericsson has appealed to all possible legal instances to demonstrate that the unfortunate death of our colleague in 1997 was not our responsibility," Ericsson headquarters in Sweden told The Local on Friday.
"However, we acknowledge and abide by the sentence of the Supreme Court."
The Supreme Court heard that the father-of-one, named only as Stefano S, worked 11-hour days and often took his work home with him. He died of a heart attack while at the office, which the court said was “due to the excessive tasks the company relied on him to do each day, without considering the impact this would have on his health and living conditions”.
The court said a company must be aware of the work conditions faced by its employees. Ericsson had fought the original ruling from an appeals court in 2011, when the Swedish company was first ordered to compensate the family. Ericsson's lawyers argued that Stefano’s death was due to him being “overzealous”.
"This is a legal procedure and thus we won't comment further on the details of the process or the ruling," Erisson said on Friday.