G v. C (10.01.22)
£920,000 settlement for a 36-year-old police officer who developed chronic pain following a road accident.
Marcus represented the claimant who sustained soft tissue injuries including a left labral tear in a high-energy deceleration car crash.
She required surgery to the labral tear which left her with residual pain. In addition, she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and some vestibular damage to her right utricular macular that left her with intermittent episodes of migraine-variant balance disorder and visually induced dizziness. She was also left with pain in her neck, low back and left shoulder.
She attempted to return to light adjusted duties with the police but was unable to cope because of pain, and neuro cognitive symptoms. She was retired from the police on the grounds of ill health after the third anniversary of the accident. She was left with restricted mobility, mobilising with a single crutch outdoors. Surveillance evidence was disclosed which usefully illustrated her residual restricted levels of function.
On her case, she had some prior vulnerability to a poor outcome following significant trauma though, on the balance of probability, this would not have manifested in the absence of such trauma. Her prognosis past of the sixth anniversary of the accident was guarded; namely, there was a 40% chance of significant improvement including complete resolution of symptoms and a 60% chance of minimal improvement including the possibility of deterioration post-settlement of her claim.
The defendant considered that she was extremely vulnerable to developing a somatic symptom disorder with predominant pain in the absence of trauma and speculated that some of her pre-accident abdominal pain was psychosomatic.
On C’s case this pre-accident history of abdominal pain and pain on intercourse was attributable to microscopic endometriosis and responded well to the implementation of a Mirena coil before the accident.
On the defendant’s case her career in the police was likely to have been short lived by reason of her vulnerability, irrespective of the accident. She had become extremely distressed by the litigation process and would like to make a swift and full recovery post settlement.
The parties negotiated against that evidential dichotomy. The case settled 10 weeks before trial through negotiation, with both parties moving away from their best-case positions.