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Law Bulletin - May 2006

Employer can be liable for suicide [Liability]

The Court of Appeal has now accepted that, where an employer’s negligence resulted in an employee suffering post traumatic stress disorder, leading to severe depression and to eventual suicide, that his widow may claim against the employer for damages arising from the act of suicide.

Consumer Protection Act – and child safety caps [Liability]

A baby, 13 months old at the time, was injured when he swallowed dishwasher powder from a plastic bottle. The bottle had a child resistant closure cap.

Catching a falling patient [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was a home care worker. It was agreed the service user’s son would do all manual handling. He was moving his mother to her settee from her commode. The claimant tried to assist by holding on to her nightdress. The service user relaxed and flopped falling at an awkward angle and injuring the claimant.

Low Impact RTA's [Thompsons’ cases]

In this case the claimant was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and there was CCTV footage of the accident.

When should a litigation friend be appointed? [Practice and Procedure]

The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal against a Judge’s decision that an application for the appointment of a litigation friend should be adjourned pending the trial of a preliminary issue as to whether the facts justify the appointment of a litigation friend.

Employer liable only for proportionate damages in asbestos cases [Damages]

This Bulletin was prepared before this decision was published and there was not enough time to prepare a full note about this very important judgment. That will come in the next Bulletin.

Court of Appeal increases award for future loss of earnings [Damages]

In 1998, at the age of 18, the claimant suffered whiplash injuries in a road traffic accident. Shortly after the accident, he returned to work but had to leave 21 months later as he had developed a chronic pain condition. Liability was admitted.

Information [Information]

As of April 2006, fees for claim forms where the claim is limited to £1,000 is now £80, up to £5,000 is £120, up to £15,000 is £250, up to £50,000 – £400 and up to £100,000 – £700, rising up to £1,700.