The claimant was a fire fighter who had suffered damage to his hearing. Liability was admitted. As a result of his condition he was retired by the brigade at the age of 51. His evidence was that he would have worked until 55 had it not been for his deafness.
The defendant argued that within a short time following his retirement he could have obtained alternative employment paying the same as his wages as a fire fighter.
Previously he had worked as an MOT tester. The claimant said that he did not have the necessary qualifications to be taken on as a full time MOT tester. In any event he wanted a job that gave him some job satisfaction, and contact with the public as he had enjoyed with the fire brigade. He had a job offer from Mencap due to start some two months after trial working 20 hours per week with the prospect of a move to full-time work.
The judge found the claimant to be a very impressive witness, and was impressed with his desire to carry out work that had a social utility. He accepted the claimant’s arguments on losses, and awarded £11,750 general damages, £1750 for loss of congenial employment and made a total award of £69,557.
Bogle -v- Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. Newcastle County Court, 2 June 2006.
There is a particularly useful section on the JSB website providing guidance on the issue of assessing future loss. This proved useful in the case of Bogle referred to above, particularly on the issue, summarised by Judge Walton in that case, of when it was appropriate to adopt a multiplier / multiplicand approach and when to follow the Blamire principle.
Look at this on www.jsboard.co.uk, and then take the link to civil law and the section on assessing damages.
Neck injury award
The claimant suffered a neck injury that resulted in 18 months of neck pain and still some residual pain at extremities of movement over two years from the date of the accident.
The District Judge awarded £2,900 for general damages, perhaps a little on the low side, but awarded our care claim in full ,making a total award of £3,624.25, beating a payment into court of £3,000 and a more recent offer of £3,500.
McNamara -v- Redmond. Newcastle County Court, 13 June 2006.