The Court of Appeal has revisited some of the issues that were previously considered in Dimond -v- Lovell (2002). A motorist could recover the reasonable costs of the replacement while his own car was being repaired even though the cost of that hire had been paid directly to the hire company by the claimant’s own insurers rather than the claimant himself. The claimant needed the use of the car for the period of repair. He was therefore entitled in principle to damages for loss of the use of his car.

Bee -v- Jenson. Court of Appeal, 17 October 2007, Times Law Reports.

Smith award in dermatitis case

The claimant suffered an acute episode of dermatitis while working on a printing press as a result of a new chemical. Liability was admitted and general damages were agreed.

The main argument was about the claimant’s potential losses on the labour market. Evidence from the medical expert and an employment expert was that, should the claimant be forced on the open labour market, he might struggle to find alternative employment as a printer. The defendants argued that the disability came from a specific chemical additive and that therefore it was unlikely to affect any future work. We argued that the claimant had 20 years of work left to him and he was therefore likely to be on the labour market numerous times.

The Judge found that the risks that the claimant would experience in not getting work were not likely risks but “might be” risks. We were arguing for an award of one to two years. The Judge awarded six months loss of earnings totalling £12,000, despite the Judge finding that it was likely that the claimant would be out of work on two occasions in the future.

Yeadon -v- Polestar Chantry Limited. Leeds County Court, 6 September 2007.