CyBC will be paying out over a million euros to journalist Evdokia Loizou, who contracted viral encephalitis from her working conditions, the court ruled on Friday. According to the Nicosia District Court, damages at €925,00 must be paid out along with VAT, interest, and legal fees to Loizou.

To prove her case in court, 18 witnesses testified on behalf of Loizou and her lawyer Michael Vorkas, including doctors and four officials from the Labour Inspection Department.

To substantiate her case, two expert medical professors, Vassilios Makropoulos from the National School of Public Health of Greece, and UK specialist Michael G. Hanna, came to Cyprus from abroad.

The judge who delivered the judgment in the Nicosia District Court, vindicated Loizou stating that “the plaintiff presents with post-encephalitis syndrome. It was also accepted by the court that the plaintiff presents symptoms consistent with viral encephalitis, a position which was strongly supported scientifically and fully before the court by Professor Michael G Hanna, Professor of Neurology.”

The judge admitted the fact that Evdokia Loizou’s health problem is a rare, extreme, and complex case.

According to the court’s findings, viral encephalitis is an infectious parasitic disease caused by the environment. This causes acquired damage to the brain causing various neurological symptoms even in the long term. It is clear from the court’s findings that Evdokia Loizou suffered both great pain and suffering over a long period of time, and the residual effects that remained continue to plague her, affecting her quality of life, her personality, her activities, her career, and her daily life 17 years later, by imposing restrictions and prohibitions.

The court added that the plaintiff “has succeeded in proving the necessary causal link between her illness and the poor working conditions at CyBC”. Back in 2012, Dr Athanasios Athanasiou from the Labour Inspection Department also reported that Loizou’s disease was caused by her workplace.

CyBC ended up – 13 years after the decision of the Department of Labour Inspection – denying the result of the decision before the court.

However, the court was not convinced by the CyBC’s witness.

All the journalist’s witnesses left a positive impression on the court, unlike the only CyBC witness, Dr Elpidophoros Sotiriades, who unsuccessfully stated that there was no causative factor in causing Loizou’s illness. The court found his opinion, as a non-neurologist, to be opinion and not convincing evidence.