Man Who Ended Up in Coma After 'Pub Golf' Sues Employer

British PwC employee lost half his skull after drinking heavily, falling down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2022 4:25 PM CDT
Man Who Lost Half His Skull After 'Pub Golf' Sues PwC
Brockie's lawsuit said the company event "encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol."   (Getty Images/Alena Kravchenko)

A PwC employee who lost half his skull after drinking heavily at a work event in the UK in 2019 is suing the international auditing company. Michael Brockie, a 28-year-old who is still employed by the firm, says the "pub golf" event "encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol." According to Brockie's negligence lawsuit, the workplace outing involved visiting nine pubs, or "holes," and scorecards kept track of how many swigs it took somebody to finish a drink, the Guardian reports. Brockie suffered a head injury after falling down in the street and spent weeks in a coma. He told ITV in 2020 that doctors and police believe he fell over and hit his head because he didn't use his hands to break the fall.

His lawsuit states that there was "heavy pressure" at the firm's Reading, England office to attend the event, and the rules "not only encourage but make a competitive virtue of excessive, rapid, and prolonged consumption of alcohol over many hours from about 6pm." He said he blacked out around 10pm and his next memory was four weeks later. He needed to have half his skull removed and didn't return to work for six months. Brockie is seeking damages of at least $235,000, Fortune reports. According to his lawsuit, he still suffers "persistent cognitive symptoms" and is worried that he could develop epilepsy.

The annual pub outing had been a tradition for seven years but it ended after Brockie's injury. Court documents include an invite from a manager saying, "I expect absolute attendance from all of those who attended last year’s invitational. Nothing short of a certified and countersigned letter by an accredited medical practitioner will suffice as excuse," per the Guardian. A PwC spokesperson said that while they can't comment on specifics on the ongoing case, they are "committed to providing a safe, healthy, and inclusive culture" for all employees. The spokespeson added: "We also expect anyone attending social events to be responsible and to ensure their own safety and that of others." (More United Kingdom stories.)

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