H v. Z 12.07.21
A 46-year-old flight instructor recovered £600,000 in respect of injuries sustained after a motorcyclist struck the rear of her car at speed.
Following the accident she developed a cluster of physical, cognitive and psychological symptoms that became more debilitating over time.
Neurological examination confirmed that, at most, her presentation satisfied the threshold for a ‘possible symptomatic TBI’ and that her presentation was predominantly psychologically mediated.
Her principal enduring complaints were pain, PTSD phenomena, vestibular symptoms and fatigue.
The nociceptive cause of any soft tissue pain was time limited and the persistence of subjective reports of pain thereafter were centrally sensitised and psychologically mediated. She presented with symptoms commonly seen following TBI in the absence of TBI and the working diagnosis was Somatic Symptom Disorder [SSD] and Functional Neurological Disorder [FND].
She continued to present as a disabled woman past the 5th anniversary of the accident.
Z viewed the claim with a measure of scepticism with its lead expert suggesting a degree of voluntary contribution to the functional presentation.
Furthermore, Z point to the fact of a wholly unrelated medical condition (Morton’s neuromas) that appeared at the second anniversary of the accident and rendered her immobile for a period, dependent on a motorised scooter, as breaking the chain of causation and likely capable of tipping her into an equivalent pathway of SSD and FND in the absence of the accident.
The case settled through ADR with both parties moving away from their best positions.