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Personal Injury Law Journal: May 2016

Christopher Kennedy QC considers the principles behind the notion of ‘full compensation’ in cases involving serious personal injury and how they have been applied

The phrase ‘restitutio in integrum’ means restoration to its original condition. It encapsulates the principle of how damages should be assessed, as articulated over 130 years ago by Lord Blackburn in Livingstone v Rawyards Coal Co (1880),

The material contribution test for causation in clinical negligence has been maintained and clarified following Williams and John. Suzanne Farg reports

The recent Privy Council decision in Williams v The Bermuda Hospitals Board [2016] has confirmed the role of ‘material contribution’ in establishing causation in clinical negligence claims and has already been followed in the subsequent High Court decision of John v Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016].

Christopher Sharp QC explains why Knauer v Ministry of Justice marks a fundamental change in claims for future loss of dependency in fatal accident cases

In Knauer v Ministry of Justice [2014] Bean J admitted sympathy with the claimant’s argument that the rule established by the House of Lords in Cookson v Knowles [1978] and Graham v Dodds [1983] should no longer apply or the Law Commission’s 1999 recommendation and the notes to the Ogden Tables followed (to divide the claim into, in effect, special damages to trial and then calculate a multiplier for future loss from the date of trial, as in normal personal injury claims for a living claimant, and not, as Cookson requires, from the date of death) but following Nelson J in White v ESAB Group (UK) Ltd [2002], Bean J accepted he was bound by those cases, despite finding the current approach ‘illogical’. In February 2015 C was given permission to leap frog to the Supreme Court and that decision has now been published.

Paul Jones evaluates the latest updates to the CPR intended to save courts time

Every practitioner loves costs budgets. The detailed forms to fill in, the fear of missing a deadline and the potentially wholly unpleasant consequences thereof, the joy of crystal ball gazing into the future, all combine to make it an area of legal costs that brings joy to all it touches. And now the rules have changed, again, with the 83rd Update to the CPR bringing some important revisions to the rules in CPR 3, the associated Practice Direction 3E and the relevant forms and guidance including a whole new precedent to get to grips with.

Sophie Beesley highlights the development of the ‘reasonable patient’ in recent cases concerning patient consent

Consent to medical treatment is only valid if it covers the relevant treatment, is voluntarily given and if the patient has capacity and was informed appropriately about the procedure before consenting.

Landlords’ liability; injuries arising out of latent defects

This important case resolves (for the time being at least) the question of whether a landlord’s liability under the Defective Premises Act 1972 (DPA) extends to latent defects.


Andrew Mckie examines the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) 2013 and the impact of the Small Claims Track (2017)

It may be argued that there are going to be two main challenges for employer’s liability practitioners going forwards in 2016, the ERRA starts to bite in relation to post October 2013 cases, and of course the changes to the small claims track in 2017. This article seeks to examine the implications for EL practitioners in those areas.