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Personal Injury Law Journal: February 2017

Claire Howard outlines the ways to spot, address and ensure compensation for clients with visual problems after an accident

As any lawyer who acts for brain injured clients knows, the term traumatic brain injury (TBI) does not refer to a single injury. It is instead really an umbrella term, which covers a myriad of symptoms, conditions, complications, deficits and changes, many of which affect our clients all at once.

Paul Sankey looks at the recent case law concerning patients receiving care

There have been a number of cases dealing with the law of consent to medical treatment over the last two years, the most notable of which is the Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015], a case which redefined the legal relationship between doctors and patients. This article looks not only at the case of Montgomery but also at some other recent authorities on the law of consent.

Vicarious liability; wrongful conduct; close connection test; lack of evidence

In Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] and Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc [2016] the Supreme Court in effect relaxed the criteria for vicarious liability. The facts of Mohamud (where a supermarket was held liable for an unprovoked assault perpetrated by one of its kiosk attendants on a customer) suggest that nearly all torts committed on the employer’s premises during work hours would satisfy the ‘close connection’ test.

Jonathan Godfrey examines the replacement of services provided by the deceased pursuant to s3 of the FAA

The remit of s3 of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (the FAA) was examined by the High Court in the recent decision of Dr Kumudu Kumari Rupasinghe (suing on her own behalf and as administratrix of the estate of Rohan Rupasinghe (Deceased)) v West Hertfordshire Hospital NHS Trust [2016]. The matter was heard before Mr Justice Jay on 8 November, 2016.

Paul Jones analyses a recent case in which costs were incurred before and after the introduction of the current proportionality rules

If one could somehow isolate and distil down the last 20 years of legal costs history into one single word, that word would surely be ‘proportionality’. Initially promulgated by Lord Woolf in his 1996 ‘Access to Justice’ report as a panacea for many of the problems besetting civil justice, its implementation has fed seemingly endless arguments between lawyers as to what it actually means and how it should be applied. Charles Dickens’ maxim in Bleak House that ‘the one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself’ has never seemed so apt. Lord Justice Jackson, in his own 2009 ‘Review of Civil Litigation’, recognised the ongoing problems and sought to solve the Sisyphean problem of legal costs with a new package of interlocking reforms to ‘control costs and promote access to justice’ and, once again, proportionality was at its heart. The jury is still out on whether the recent implementation of those reforms will ultimately deliver on either or both of their stated aims but, for now at least, the arguments over proportionality continue, as illustrated by the recent decision in King v Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust [2016].

Rushmi Sethi

Rushmi Sethi explores the inter-relationships between personal injury and employment law, when dealing with liability for psychological injury in occupational stress claims

Liability for psychological injury in occupational stress claims is a rapidly evolving area of the law of tort, and the following discussion shows the range of issues in employees’ claims for psychological injury that have been brought to trial.

Tom Semple considers the Department of Health’s latest revision to its proposal to introduce fixed recoverable costs in clinical negligence cases

In August 2015, the Department of Health announced its proposal to introduce a fixed recoverable costs regime for clinical negligence claims worth up to £250,000. As of October 2016, the Department of Health now proposes to consult on such a regime for claims worth up to £25,000 only. The policy change was announced following the publication of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee’s July 2016 meeting minutes.