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Personal Injury Law Journal: February 2011

Richard Lodge reviews the court’s approach to applying Ogden Tables 1, 2 and 28

One of the first questions to be addressed when quantifying damages in a personal injury action is whether the claimant’s injuries will shorten his life expectancy. If so, the medical experts will be asked to predict how long the claimant is expected to live. Life expectancy is usually disputed and is often a hard fought issue because, as the estimate of the claimant’s life expectancy increases, so too does the value of the claim. Therefore, since the House of Lords set out the underlying principles to quantification of personal injury actions in the seminal case of Wells v Wells [1999], the courts have been asked to consider how the Ogden Tables should be used to calculate the life multiplier. Although the modern practice is to order periodical payments in respect of care and case management (usually by far the largest head of future loss), the life multiplier is still a calculation relevant to smaller heads of future loss not subject to periodical payments and, therefore, it plays a part in calculating multipliers applicable to a proportion of the future loss period.

Simon Blackburn examines livestock owners’ legal responsibilities to the public

The case of McKaskie v Cameron (2009) serves as an illustration that defendants to personal injury claims are just as vulnerable when answering on behalf of their livestock as they are when facing the consequences of their own actions.

Emma Zeb focuses on the social benefit of an activity versus the risks of injury

I suspect that, for most of the 237th Castle Bromwich Scout Group, Mr Newsome was one of the coolest scout leaders. After all he let his troupe play a game that allowed them to run around in near-dark conditions competing against each other to find a limited number of blocks on the floor. Fun? Yes. Exciting? Yes. An adrenaline rush? Probably. But of social utility or value in any way? No. Or so two thirds of a three-judge Court of Appeal found when they awarded damages to Mark Barnes for injuries he sustained during this activity.

Dr Peter Hollingworth discusses how to approach claims for complex regional pain syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an uncommon condition in which an area of the body, usually a hand or foot, has an unusual response to injury; although the direct effect of the injury heals, the injured part continues to be painful and exhibits colour and temperature change.

Veitch Penny

Emma Hearn reports on service and Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules

In view of the substantial changes within recent years in respect of methods of communicating with one another, it is always wise to bear in mind the provisions of Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules as regards the service of a claim form by electronic means.

Julian Matthews looks at the latest authorities concerning the discount rate

In early November 2010 the Lord Chancellor announced a review of the discount rate under the Damages Act 1996. The potential impact of a change in the rate upon many clinical negligence and personal injury claims is substantial. This article examines the immediate issue that arises out of how the court is likely to deal with cases listed for determination in the interim period before that review is concluded.

Paul Jones considers when predictable costs apply

One of the central tenets of the proposed reforms to civil legal costs is that increased use of fixed costs would solve a great many of the perceived problems inherent in the current system. However, as can be seen in the recent case of Thaxton v Goodman (A child) [2010], fixed costs can give rise to some of the most tortuous costs arguments of all.

Andrew Hogan investigates credit hire agreements in view of Chen Wei v Cambridge Power and Light Ltd

The decision in Chen Wei v Cambridge Power and Light Ltd (2010) has come to the consideration of those representing liability insurers, and numerous cases have now been argued across the country (with varying results) favouring either the credit hire company or the liability insurer.