At a hearing on Thursday 2 November 2023, Mr Douglas-Jones KC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, approved the settlement of a claim for damages brought by our client, KTW. The judge also ordered the claimant’s details remain anonymous.
KTW’s claim for damages arises from a road traffic collision in London in December 2017.
KTW was visiting the UK at the time of the collision. He was crossing a road in South London when he was struck by the defendant driver’s vehicle. The collision caused KTW to sustain catastrophic life changing injuries, including a severe traumatic brain injury. KTW remained in a minimally conscious state for eight months following the collision.
With interim funding secured from the defendant’s insurer, KTW received specialist neurological rehabilitation, eventually enabling him to return to life in the community.
Following negotiations between the parties in September 2023, it was agreed that KTW should receive:
- Net lump sum damages of £3.75m; and
- Variable periodical payments, initially at £165,000 a year, rising to £260,000 when KTW reaches the age of 60. The periodical payments are linked to the Annual Survey for Hours and Earnings (ASHE) data on care workers published annually by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This means that KTW’s future annual payments will rise in line with inflation on care workers’ earnings.
Combined, the value of the gross lump sum and periodical payment settlement totals just over £11.8m. The parties had previously agreed to a deduction of 25% for contributory negligence, taking the full liability value of the damages approved today to over £15.7m.
The settlement also includes provision for KTW to return to court and seek further damages in the event he suffers a serious deterioration because of the development of post-traumatic epilepsy which cannot be controlled by medication.
During the claim, Stewarts secured interim payments of over £700,000 to enable KTW to receive the best possible care, rehabilitation, medical treatment and equipment. The settlement includes provision for a live-in carer for KTW, to allow him to live as independently as possible, along with funds to purchase suitably adapted accommodation.
Approving the negotiated settlement in the High Court today, Judge Douglas-Jones KC commended the parties’ approach to the case. He noted that a vast amount of work had gone into the case and praised KTW’s leading counsel, Paul Russell KC, for his comprehensive summary of the case to assist the court in the approval process. The judge also commented on the very considerable work by Stewarts. Finally, the judge paid tribute to KTW’s sister and litigation friend, as well as his family, who he noted had responded with resilience at a period of emotional and financial hardship.
Chris Deacon commented:
“It has been a privilege representing KTW over the past six years. I am very pleased that we were able to secure the best possible outcome following the life-changing road traffic collision which occurred while he was visiting London in 2017. The case involved navigating numerous complexities given that KTW was visiting the UK from overseas at the time and was unable to return to his home country in view of the nature and severity of his injuries.
KTW has been admirably supported throughout by his sister and litigation friend as well as his wider family, as recognised by the judge in the powerful words he shared when approving the settlement. I must also thank KTW’s case managers at NeuroHealth and excellent team of treating therapists, who have been able to assist KTW in making such significant progress in his rehabilitation.
Throughout the case, the defendant insurer and its legal representatives worked collaboratively with Stewarts so that KTW could access the best possible care and therapy to maximise his recovery. In court today, the judge recognised how this approach continued during the settlement process, which enabled KTW’s family to bridge the human and emotional gap that might otherwise have existed with the defendants and their legal representatives.
Now that the case is finalised, the settlement package we have secured for KTW will ensure that he can meet his lifelong needs. Importantly, the compensation includes provision for fully adapted accommodation, ongoing provision of a live-in carer for life, private therapies and funds to ensure KTW can travel and visit his family around the world.”
KTW was represented by Chris Deacon and James Griffin. They instructed Paul Russell KC, Gemma Scott and Max Archer of 12 King’s Bench Walk. The defendants were represented by Malcolm Henke and Stephen Howcroft of Horwich Farrelly, instructing Charlie Cory-Wright KC and Romilly Cummerson of 39 Essex Chambers.
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