C v. Q – 03.11.17
Dispensing Optician recovers £320,000 for a suspected mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Marcus Grant, instructed by Tom Ranson of Ashton’s Legal, represented the Claimant.
Following a moderately severe rear-end shunting accident on the M1, this (then) 33-year-old Dispensing Optician sustained a whiplash injury and presented with symptoms of headaches, reduced memory and concentration, heightened mental fatigue, OCD character traits, reduced tolerance, impaired decision making and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
Clinical assessment by his experts confirmed post traumatic amnesia (PTA) of between 15 and 30 minutes only, a normal GCS, no loss of consciousness, a normal MRI of the brain and no retrograde amnesia. He underwent a course of CBT and his PTSD symptoms remitted to a sub-clinical level. The enduring cluster of cognitive and behavioural symptoms remained. Despite them, he continued working full time as a Dispensing Optician over the 5.5 years between the accident and settlement. On his case, this was only possible because of adjustments made by his employer in the workplace. Neurospychological testing by his expert revealed a subtle pattern of deficits in delayed working memory and processing speed tasks, against a backdrop of a pre-morbid superior intellect, that was consistent with a diagnosis of Diffuse Axonal Injury following on from mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI).
The Defendant’s experts accepted that the Claimant was a reliable informant but attributed his subjective cognitive and behavioural symptoms to a combination of pre-existing psychological vulnerability, post-accident anxiety attributable to the sub clinical PTSD and the stress of the litigation; Its experts contended that the residual symptoms that would settle post-litigation with CBT, leaving him at no disadvantage on the labour market. The experts in their reports and joint statements analysed the emerging literature on the incidence of chronic disabling symptoms amongst the enormous cohort of mTBI patients throughout the population, literature dating between 1943 and October 2017.
The case was settled through negotiation at a point between the Parties’ respective best case scenarios.