Gregory Goussard v Post Office (1999) QBD (Butterfield J) 6 October 1999
Claimant: Male, 13 years old at date of accident; 21 years old at date of settlement.
Incident: The claimant was injured in May 1992 while on a visit to the UK from his home in France. He disembarked from a bus and ran out from behind it attempting to cross the road. A Post Office van, which was travelling on the road, was unable to stop in time and struck the claimant. Liability disputed. The defendant contended that there was no evidence that the claimant had looked where he was going before running out into the path of the van and so was responsible for the accident. The judge conceded that there was a "considerable" chance that had there been a contested trial the Post Office would be found entirely blameless.
Injuries: The claimant sustained multiple broken bones and a serious head unjury in the accident. As a result of the head injuries he sustained, the claimant's memory had been significantly impaired. He was unable to retain information for more than 30 minutes and as a result had been unable to progress academically after the accident. The claimant was unable to care for himself and had remained in the family home where his mother had taken on the role as his primary carer. The settlement figure was only a fraction of the claim, which was in excess of £1m. However, in light of the high element of contributory negligence on the part of the claimant, the judge concluded that the settlement figure was entirely proper and meant the claimant at least got some financial compensation.
Award: £90,000 total damages (out of court settlement)
Claimant's counsel: Jacob Levy
Claimant's solicitor: Pierre Thomas & Co
Daljit Kaur Matharu (by her sister & next friend) v David Philip Wereik (1999) QBD (Buckley J) 4 October 1999
Claimant: Female, 22 years old at date of accident; 28 years old at date of settlement.
Incident: The claimant was injured in April 1993 when she was struck by a car as she walked along the street. Judgment had been entered against the defendant on the issue of liability in February 1996.
Injuries: The claimant sustained severe head injuries in the accident and was left partially paralysed down the left side of her body. As a result of her injuries the claimant was left suffering from epilepsy and significant cognitive impairment. The accident had occurred a month before the claimant had been due to get married. The wedding had never taken place and the claimant was cared for by her family.
Award: £1,980,706 total damages (out of court settlement)
Claimant's counsel: Gerard Martin
Claimant's solicitor: Philip Baker & Co