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Law Bulletin - February 2008

DEAFNESS CASES: An ingenious argument [Liability]

The defendant had admitted negligent exposure to excessive noise for 245 months before 1990. Both experts in this hearing-loss claim agreed the claimant had the earliest signs of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Chair lift coming up hits carry chair coming down [Liability]

Our ambulance driver was carrying a stroke victim downstairs in a carry chair at a private home. A stair lift suddenly came up the stairs and hit him and knocked him and the chair down.

No contributory negligence even if very experienced on machines [Liability]

The claimant was a sheet metal worker and was working on a drill. As he began to move a piece of metal to drill a hole, a piece of drill swarf caught the middle finger of his right glove. As he removed the glove, he removed the tip of his finger.

Workstation case [Liability]

The claimant said her mouse cable at her desk was tangled with other wires. She could not release it, so had to stretch to use it and was injured. Medical evidence confirmed this had caused a rotator cuff injury.

Defendants lose appeal on periodical payments [Damages]

The headline case of the month on damages is the Court of Appeal’s decision in Thompstone, which concerns the question of whether the Retail Prices Index (RPI) is the only index to be applied to increase annual periodical payments for the cost of future care and case management, and also what approach the court should take when the parties do not agree if the head of future loss should be included in the periodical payment order.

Big award in paraplegic case [Damages]

We dealt with a UNISON member who suffered paraplegia following a stack of road signs falling on him while working as a road worker.