This article was taken from the Personal Injury Newsletter – April 2015.
Permission to appeal granted in Knauer: In the last edition of this newsletter we reported on Knauer v Ministry of Justice1, a Fatal Accident Act claim in which the claimant unsuccessfully challenged the calculation of the multiplier at the date of death (as established by Cookson v Knowles) but was given permission to pursue a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court considered the claimant’s application on 24 February 2015 and permission to appeal has been granted. It is not known when the appeal will be heard but, come what may, the decision of the court is likely to be of enormous significant to all PI practitioners.
Costs of hydrotherapy recovered: The often debated costs of hydrotherapy provision at home were again in issue in A (A Child) v University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust2. A had suffered extensive damage during birth with resultant quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy at the extreme end of the cerebral palsy spectrum. A notable feature of A’s condition is painful spasms which meant much of her life was spent screaming or crying and which episodes were only reliably relieved by immersion in a hydrotherapy pool. Both parties agreed that A had relief from pain during water-based activities but the defendant submitted that appropriate provision could be made through visits to hydrotherapy pools and by using a Jacuzzi-style bath at home. Recognising that A’s circumstances were “exceptional”, Warby J found that the costs associated with making hydrotherapy provision at home were proportionate to A’s need.
Reading the judgment it is obvious that video evidence obtained of A receiving hydrotherapy was of critical importance in persuading the judge of the need for this costly provision and representatives of claimants who are seeking this provision would be well advised to invest in similar evidence to increase the prospects of recovery.
Diffuse Mesothelioma Tariff Payments: The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2015 come into force on 31 March 2015. They increase the tariff payments under the Mesothelioma Act 2014 to 100%, as opposed to 80%, of the average damages claimants would receive in the courts. They apply to any case where the claimant is diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 10 February 2015.
1  EWHC 2553 (QB)
2  EWHC 366 (QB)