The claimant, 42 years old at the date of the accident and 47 at the date of trial, suffered multiple injuries in an RTA. At the date of the accident she worked as a senior credit analyst for an investment bank. She produced evidence that suggested that, but for the accident, she would have obtained another job in Geneva with a better benefits package and an increased status. The Judge accepted her argument that she would have been offered the job referred to and awarded damages on the basis that she would have taken the job and would have continued to work for the company or elsewhere at a similar salary level.

The solicitors acting for the claimant believe that this is the first time the new discounting system in the Ogden Tables sixth edition has been adjudicated upon. The defendant argued that, by virtue of the claimant’s morbid obesity, the claimant was “disabled” and therefore given her aged and graduate status, a discount factor of 0.6 should be applied to the basic multiplier for future loss of earnings.

The Judge found that the claimant was not “disabled” within the Ogden Table definition as it was impossible to say that her weight had a substantial adverse effect on her ability to carry out her day-to-day activities and they had no significant adverse impact on the kind or amount of work that she carried out. He held that the appropriate discount factor to reflect the contingencies other than mortality was 0.87.

Grant -v- MIB. Judge Hickinbottom, 25 May 2007.

Further Ogden Tables award in catastrophic Injuries case

The claimant had been a quadriplegic since the age of 18. He had no residual movement below the shoulders and suffered pain although he had no brain damage and could speak, see and hear normally.

The Judge awarded £227,000 for general damages on the basis that the claimant fell slightly above the middle of the range set out in the JSB guideline from quadriplegia.

On the evidence, his life expectancy was 66 years. This assessment had involved a clinical judgement as to the positive and negative factors applicable to the claimant to assess the reduction in life expectancy compared with the average for a man of his age as set out in Table 1 of the Ogden Tables. As mortality had already been taken into account in that exercise, to use Table 1 again to establish the appropriate multiplier to discount damages for future loss of care and other future losses would involve a double discount. In this case, it would be more appropriate to use Table 28 to establish an appropriate multiplier.

There are a number of other issues dealt within this case which will be of interest to those dealing with catastrophic injuries. The total award was over £6.3 million.

Burton -v- Kingsbury (2007) EWCA 2091 Flaux J 13 September 2007