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Personal Injury Law Journal: October 2014

Gurion Taussig reviews recent significant employer’s liability cases

This employer’s liability article focuses on some of the more significant decisions of the Court of Appeal in the last 18 months. During this period, in a variety of contexts, the higher courts have been invited to test the limits of employer’s liability.

The first Court of Appeal decision looking at the QOCS reforms has been handed down, Paul Jones reports

One of the biggest costs reforms of 1 April 2013 was the introduction of qualified one way costs shifting (QOCS) whereby a successful defendant to a personal injury claim would be unable to recover their costs from an unsuccessful claimant. For such a major reform, it was inevitable that the Court of Appeal would be tasked with interpreting the rules and the first such decision, but almost certainly not the last, has been handed down in Wagenaar v Weekend Travel Ltd and Serradj [2014].

In a recent case the Court of Appeal takes a new view of Mitchell, Jim Hester discusses

Hot on the heels of the seminal Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] judgment in November, and the resulting impact on the civil justice system, the Court of Appeal has found it necessary to refine the way that judges should approach applications under CPR 3.9 – Relief from Sanctions.

Calculating future loss; Ogden

This judgment provides an interesting discussion of the tension between the judicial and statistical approaches to valuing quantum of future loss of earnings. After addressing the alternative approaches, Andrew Edis QC, sitting as a High Court judge, chose to use the Ogden tables but to apply a further discount to the relevant table B reduction factor.

Liam Ryan considers the implications of a recent case which may suggest stress claims are on the increase

In stress claims where there is evidence that an employer had express notice of an employee’s stress-related condition (eg by emails, letters, appraisals and minutes), the law is relatively clear. However, there was less clarity as to how the courts would deal with stress claims where the claimant sought to recover costs for psychiatric injury. Light has since been thrown on the issue by the judgment in Daniel v Secretary of State for the Department of Health [2014] (handed down on 28 July 2014).

Kevin Donoghue explains the basis on which claims against the police are made and provides guidance for lawyers dealing with these cases using a practical example of one of his cases

I represented Hussein and his son Ali in their claims against the Metropolitan Police following a raid at their home.

Andrew Sands and Nick Leech advocate greater use of periodical payments aided by case law, old and new

A brief reminder of the benefits of settlement inclusive of periodical payments is always a good starting point. A secure, tax-free, lifelong income linked to earnings related inflation, adds up to a huge head start when contrasted with the traditional lump sum award. The list of headwinds afflicting the latter settlement type is lengthy – tax on investment returns, the unavoidable and often underestimated risks in relation to mortality and investment, and the cost of investment advice. All of those factors are nullified when the claimant is compensated by way of periodical payment income.