Litigation Personal Injury 25/11/97

McEwen v Grist QBD 28 October 1997

Claimant: William McEwen

Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant, who prior to head-on road crash in 1986 was a successful businessman, underwent complete personality change. He has had to sell his stake in a flourishing manufacturing business and is unlikely to work again. Accident transformed him from an energetic, hard-working man to a "shy and reclusive" shadow of his former self. His memory and concentration are severely impaired and he is prone to bouts of intense fatigue. He has also suffered from acute post-traumatic stress disorder.

Award: £250,000 damages

Judge: Judge Bentley QC

Plaintiff's counsel: Michael Parroy QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Lester Aldridge

Hart v Butcher QBD 3 November 1997

Claimant: James Hart, 48

Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant pedestrian hit by car in October 1992. He received severe head injuries which left him with brain damage resulting in severe memory and concentration impairment. He now has extreme difficulty in day-to-day living and has difficulty looking after himself.

Award: £325,000 damages

Judge: Judge Bentley (sitting as a deputy judge of QBD)

Plaintiff's counsel: Thomas Saunt

Plaintiff's solicitor: Liddell Zurbrugg

Knight v West Kent Health Authority CA 4 November 1997

Claimant: Samantha Knight, 34

Incident: Alleged medical negligence

Injuries: Claimant suffered gynaecological injuries after 36 hours in labour. She then fell victim to acute depression and her marriage, previously stable, collapsed. Mr Justice Steele awarded £64,000 damages last year, ruling that health authority had mismanaged delivery negligently. Health authority admitted staff should have intervened two and a half hours earlier but appealed on basis High Court award was too high. It had made pre-trial offer of £10,000 to settle the claim.

Decision: Appeal allowed and award set aside

Judges: Kennedy, Morritt, Chadwick LJJ

Appellant's counsel: Mary O'Rourke

Appellant's solicitor: Capsticks, Putney

Respondent's counsel: Sally Hatfield and Richard Hermer

Respondent's solicitor: Thomson Snell & Passmore, Tunbridge Wells