Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has been ordered to pay £4.5m in damages to a doctor who was sacked after becoming pregnant.
Obstetrician Eva Michalak, 53, has been awarded the payout by an employment tribunal in Leeds after winning her sex and race discrimination case against the trust.
The payout comes as Mid Yorkshire is battling to make savings of £31m and warned it will need a £14m bailout to balance its books.
Dr Michalak had sued for £9m but the sum awarded is still so large it will exacerbate the financial crisis already overwhelming the trust, which runs hospital services in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury.
In the tribunal judgement, the panel admitted it had calculated the payment based on figures provided by Dr Michalak’s representatives.
The panel also admitted it had little experience in calculating how such payouts should be made.
It said: “It is many years since this tribunal studied mathematical equations. We are indebted …to the claimant’s representatives for the methodology attached to the schedule of loss to show how that grossed up figure should be calculated.”
It added: “We have little doubt that there is ample scope for error within these calculations. If either party identifies substantial error they are invited to make application to the tribunal to review this decision which, hopefully, can be done with agreement of the other side to avoid further expense being incurred.”
Polish-born Dr Michalak had previously told the tribunal that her life had been made a “living hell” by her bosses after she left Pontefract General Infirmary in 2003 to have her son.
She was falsely accused of bullying junior doctors and suspended repeatedly before finally being dismissed for no reason in July 2008.
Her ordeal left her suicidal and suffering from chronic post traumatic stress. Unable to work, she relied on her family in Poland for support as her health deteriorated after the suspension.
The tribunal found that the trust had no valid reason to sack Dr Michalak and had done so “for a reason that related to the claimant’s pregnancy”.
“We are positively outraged at the way this employer has behaved,” said the panel.
“The claimant has lost her role and status as a hospital consultant. She is never going to return to work as a doctor, a profession which she cherished.”
A spokeswoman for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals said: “We have only just received the judge’s decision on the compensation and this is based on very complex and lengthy calculations.
“We will need time to carefully consider these. Once we have considered the outcome we will then make a statement.”
Dr Michalak said earlier after winning the sex and race discrimination element of her case: “I suffered years of psychological abuse. They basically hounded me because I had a baby. They destroyed my life, my health and my career. The last seven years have been a living hell.”