Litigation Personal Injury 29/04/97

Harris v Mears – QBD 10 April 1997

Claimant: Gemma Harris, 1Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant seven-years-old when insurance underwriter father, who was bringing her up as a single parent, was killed in motorway accident. Father was 31 at the time of his death and had a promising career with a major insurance company. Claim against driver of vehicle in which claimant's father was travelling. Court told that had dead man, who was travelling in rear of vehicle, been wearing seat belt at time, he would probably have escaped injury.

Award: £100,000 agreed damages

Judge: Deputy judge Nigel Wilkinson QC

Plaintiff's counsel: Timothy Carlisle

Plaintiff's solicitor: Ratcliffe Duce & Gammer

Osborne v Oetegenn – CA 10 April 1997

Claimant: William Osborne, 76

Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant's wife of 50 years killed at age of 72. Judge Lauriston QC at Weymouth County Court on September 21 1995 awarded £21,000 damages, describing the Osbornes' marriage as a "traditional" one with William Osborne being the main bread winner, and his wife bearing responsibility for domestic chores. Insurers for defendant who had accepted liability argued award was substantially too high. Court of appeal found award "fair and reasonable", except for £1,248 awarded for extra money claimant said to have had to spend on pre-cooked food.

Award: £21,263 damages

Judges: Lord Justice Otton and Sir Christopher Slade

Apellant's counsel: Roderick Denyer QC

Apellant's solicitors: Cartwrights, Bristol

Respondent's counsel: Richard Mawhinney

Respondent's solicitors: Clarke Willmott & Clarke

Hill v Cullen – CAP 14 April 1997

Claimant: Karen Hill, 28

Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant was 22 when she suffered head injuries after motorcycle on which she was a pillion passenger crashed, leaving her wholly dependant on the care of others. Doctors see little hope of any significant improvement in her condition that could enable her to lead normal, independent life. She is currently looked after at home by professional carers at a cost of £65,000 a year. Agreed damages aimed to provide sufficient income to meet the cost of care for the rest of her life.

Award: £1,275,000 agreed damages

Judge: Mr Justice Potts

Appellants' counsel: Charles Welchman

Appellants' solicitors: Blandy & Blandy