Cases from LAWTEL's PI Quantum Database. Contact Deborah Talbot on 0171 970 4823.

Williamson v The Post Office (1999) Preston CC (HH Judge Appleton QC) 29 June 1999

Claimant: Male, married, 40 years old at date of accident; 48 years old at date of trial.

Incident: The claimant was employed by the defendant as a postman in Preston. He was injured trying to lift a parcel bag without realising a colleague was standing on it. He fell backwards, injuring his back. Liability admitted.

Injuries: The claimant suffered a back and neck injury in the fall. Prior to the fall, the claimant had suffered a short-lived episode of back pain. The court found that his back was vulnerable as a result and that his condition had been aggravated by the fall. The judge held that the claimant's pre-existing asymptomatic back pain became symptomatic 10 years early.

Award: u165,681.18 total damages.

Claimant's counsel: Simon Newton

Claimant's solicitor: Simpson Millar (Leeds)

Phillips v Lincolnshire Health Authority (1999) Lincoln CC (Jowitt J) 19 July 1999

Claimant: Female, two months old at date of accident; 8 years old at date of trial.

Incident: Criminal injury. The claimant was transferred to the defendant hospital in 1991 and injured by one of the nursing staff who gave her insulin and suffocated her. The defendant health authority was not asked to accept liability.

Injuries: The claimant suffered severe brain damage. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and was left with partial paralysis and spasticity in her arms and legs and was rendered partially blind.

The claimant's mother had left work to care for her. Although the claimant's condition was permanent it was hoped that therapy would lead to further improvements.

Award: u2,125,000 total damages (out of court settlement)

Claimant's counsel: Richard Lissack QC and Christopher Kemp

Claimant's solicitor: Stewarts (London)

Lara Steward (by her mother and next friend Valerie Steward) v Dr Marina Arulanandam (1999) QBD (Kennedy J) 20 July 1999

Claimant: Female, two years at date of accident; nine years old at date of settlement.

Incident: The claimant's mother called the defendant GP to her home after her daughter fell ill. The defendant examined the claimant but decided not to refer her to hospital. The claimant's condition deteriorated however and she attended hospital the following day where a diagnosis of meningitis was made. Liability disputed.

Injuries: The claimant suffered total loss of natural hearing as a result of the bout of meningitis.

Award: u350,000 total damages (out of court settlement)

Claimant's counsel: Andrew Spink

Claimant's solicitor: Wolferstans (Plymouth)