Canada Life Annuity receives court approval

Frenkel Topping have reported a case where his Honour Judge Steven Oliver-Jones QC approved a settlement in Coventry on 8 July 2005 for a patient incorporating the Canada Life Flexible Annuity contract. The tax free nature of the payments under the annuity have received advance Inland Revenue clearance, and the issues regarding the security of the contract and other related details have now been clarified.

While the contract will not be suitable in every case, many claimants will welcome the flexibility it offers, coupled with the advantageous death benefits that contrast with traditional annuities.

Degenerative disease to the spine: what doctors really think

The June 2005 addition of the Journal of Personal Injury Law has an article based on research carried out by two medical experts, TJD Byrnes and Fred P Nath. A questionnaire relating to medico-legal issues was sent to 3,595 doctors. There were 1067 replies.

Over 90 per cent felt that “severe” trauma would increase the rate of degenerative change and accelerate symptoms, and that in a degenerate disc, “mild to moderate” trauma could cause a disc prolapse. 69 per cent felt that degenerative disease usually becomes spontaneously symptomatic in the 40s or 50s. 75 per cent felt that mild to moderate trauma could lead to acceleration in degenerative symptoms. 36 per cent felt it could cause an increase in the rate of degeneration. 64 per cent felt that in the presence of a normal MRI scan it is possible to have disabling symptoms for over two years.

While the study does not provide any scientific proof of the effect of trauma on the spine, it does quantify expert opinion, and provides a useful process by which evidence derived from expert opinion can be validated.

Please read this article. It may be useful in appropriate cases to put the article to our medical experts for their comments. It will also give useful ammunition for cross examination.

Who pays for future care costs?

In recent editions we have reported some cases where there has been an issue between defendants and local authorities about responsibility for care costs. There is a very useful three-page article summarising the present state of the law published in the New Law Journal volume 155 page 1132.