Following a landmark Judgment in the House of Lords, Stewarts client, Giles Harding, has gone on to recover damages of £5.5 million by settlement on the second day of a High Court Trial. Giles sustained tetraplegia in an accident when a jeep he was travelling in rolled on an unsealed road in New South Wales, Australia, back on 3 February 2002. His claim was against the driver of the jeep, his former girlfriend, Tanya Wealands, an Australian national who had moved to England, but was back in Australia with Giles for a holiday at the time of the accident.
Following the success in the House of Lords, entitling Mr Harding to recover damages under principles of English law, rather than those of New South Wales, this case was prepared for Trial to quantify his losses as a result of his serious spinal cord injury. This included evidence on the relative merits of compensation either by lump sum award or a combination of lump sum and Periodical Payments. On Mr Harding’s behalf, expert evidence was advanced from a leading academic in the field of Ecomonics and a Forensic Accountant, to demonstrate that if Periodical Payments were to be awarded for his future care and/or future loss of earnings, then they would need to be indexed to future rises in earnings.
Julian Chamberlayne, Partner and Head of the International Injury department at Stewarts commented:
“This is a fantastic result for Mr Harding and proves the point we were making before the House of Lords, that full compensation under English principles amounted to well in excess of £1.25 million more than Mr Harding would have obtained under New South Wales Law. It took a long time for the Defendant’s insurers to accept the necessity of fully compensating Mr Harding, but with the Trial underway, there was no escaping that inevitability. Had the case not settled, we would have had a very interesting Trial relating to the form of Mr Harding’s compensation. He was the first Claimant to come before the Courts seeking an order for an overseas insurer to purchase an annuity linked to RPI plus a fixed percentage, to attempt to replicate earnings indexation. That interesting point of law will now have to be determined in another case”.
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