Neve v Wincanton – QBD 30 July 1997

Claimant: Peter Neve, 4Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Cyclist injured after being involved in a collision with milk lorry in narrow country lane in 1993. Claimant suffered fractured skull and a brain injury leaving his memory permanently impaired. Accident occurred at point where lane was around three metres wide with high hedges on both sides leaving gap of about a foot on either side of the lorry. It had been alleged lorry driver was travelling too fast and failed to keep a proper look-out. However, court told that had case gone to full trial claimant would have faced accusations that he was partly to blame for the accident. Judge described settlement figure as "a sensible offer".

Award: £300,000 agreed damages

Judge: Mr Justice Popplewell

Plaintiff's counsel: Richard Lynagh QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Hill Dickinson Davis Campbell

Fowler v Hodges – QBD

31 July 1997

Claimant: Pamela Fowler

Incident: Alleged medical negligence

Injuries: Claim by the mother of a six-year-old boy against a doctor she claimed was negligent in failing to forewarn her in time for pregnancy termination that the boy could be born deformed. The baby was born deformed and the mother sought compensation for the cost of bringing him up. The judge held that while the GP had "fallen below standards reasonably to be expected of a competent GP", the little boy's deformities would not in any event have been uncovered before his birth. While the GP had been negligent in failing to inform a consultant at the hospital that he had prescribed to the mother a powerful muscle-contracting drug during her pregnancy when she appeared to be suffering a miscarriage, that failure had no effect on the tragic outcome. The judge accepted evidence offered by Jonathan West, a consultant obstetrician, that even had the GP fully apprised the consultant of the mother's history he would not have carried out the detailed scan necessary to reveal deformities to the little boy's spine, thighs, hips, legs, ankles and feet. Claim dismissed.

Judge: Judge William Crawford QC

Plaintiff's counsel: Jeremy Gordon

Plaintiff's solicitor: Milford & Dormor