The claimant worked for Derbyshire County Council as a road worker. He suffered from VWF and CTS. The defendants admitted liability. There were arguments on causation and also on whether the claimant was able to carry out overtime. The Judge found the claimant a credible witness and found in his favour. £11,000 was awarded for stage 3 VWF and £32,000 for loss of earning capacity.

Haynes -v- Derbyshire County Council.

Vicarious liability for exemplary damages

Following an incident at the claimant’s home involving the attendance of the police, she was arrested and subsequently charged and acquitted of obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty. She brought proceedings against the chief constable for damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages.

A jury found all of her allegations established. She made awards of £3,000 for personal injury, £850 for false imprisonment and £2,500 for malicious prosecution. The Judge withdrew from the jury issues as to her entitlement to aggravated and exemplary damages holding that neither was appropriate.

The Court of Appeal held that the chief constable was vicariously liable for acts committed by his officers and in appropriate circumstances the jury could award a claimant aggravated damages and exemplary damages. In this case the conduct of the police officer was worthy of significant punishment. A substantial award of exemplary damages should be made.

Rowlands -v- Chief constable of Merseyside Police. Court of Appeal, 11 January 2007, Times Law Reports.

Was fall through roof due to criminal negligence?

The claimant applied for judicial review of a decision by the CPS not to bring prosecutions for gross negligence manslaughter arising out of the death of his son in an industrial accident. The son, a 17 year old, had fallen through a roof light in his second week of work as a labourer with the employer. He had been instructed to go on to the roof though he had no previous experience of working at heights or on roofs. At the inquest the jury returned a unanimous verdict of unlawful killing. The CPS had concluded that, although individuals were in breach of duty of care, the degree of negligence exhibited was not such as to amount to criminal negligence.

The court held that the CPS had not dealt with the real thrust of any case that might be brought. There was evidence of a reason why he had gone onto the roof; he had been instructed to do so as part of his duties without any training or induction course or any serious warning about roof lights. He had not been told not to do so prior to receiving that induction course. It could not be said that the CPS had provided clear reasons as to why the verdict of the inquest jury should not have lead to a prosecution and it was therefore appropriate to refer the matter back to the CPS.

R (on the application of Peter Dennis) -v- Director of Public Prosecutions. Queens Bench Division, 29 December 2006.