Periodical payments

In the first month since periodical payments came into operation we obtained an order at Leeds High Court on 20 April 2005 where the defendants were ordered to pay the claimant £50,000 per annum index linked, rising to £61,000 per annum in October 2009 payable for the rest of the claimant’s life. The order was to cover the claimant’s care costs, and the Judge felt that this was in the claimant’s best interests, despite the fact that neither the claimant nor the defendant had indicated that this was their preferred method of settlement.

We believe that this is the first periodical payment order that has been made.

The defendants had argued that the claimant’s future care and accommodation needs would be picked up by the local authority, but there was no evidence before the Judge that those costs would indeed be picked up, and the Judge declared that he was not satisfied that it would be paid in full by the local authority. In addition to the periodical payments there was a lump sum payment of £495,000.

This is an important decision that is going to be of relevance to anyone expecting a large award of damages. A transcript is being obtained.

Godbold -v- Mahmood. Leeds Crown Court 20 April 2005. Mr Justice Mitting.

Looking after the claimant’s job security

In a recent case at Hull County Court, the defendants increased an offer at the door of the court from £4,500 to £22,500 consisting of general damages and loss on the labour market. This was a VWF case where the claimant had remained at his job but with reduced vibration exposure. We argued that the claimant was at a significant risk of losing his job in the future based on our medical evidence and the claimant’s contention that his condition was deteriorating. We argued that there may be a potential loss of earnings.

The defendants conceded at trial that it was unlikely that, if the claimant was redeployed, his earnings would drop; however, we insisted that settlement should be on the condition that there was confirmation in the judgment that the claimant’s job position would be secure. This was agreed and the order was made that, should the defendants act contrary to the order, he would be able to come back to court and pursue a further claim and possibly a disability discrimination claim.

Dobbs -v- British Aerospace. Hull County Court 12 January 2005.