O v. T – 25.10.17


Practice Areas

Personal Injury

PA and Personal Trainer recovers £1.5 m for severe post traumatic fibromyalgia/somatic symptom disorder. Marcus Grant, instructed by Alex Cohen of Brian Barr Solicitors, represented the Claimant.

Following a modest rear-end shunting road accident, an otherwise fit and healthy PA and part time fitness trainer sustained a whiplash associated disorder that interfered with her ability to work normally and resulted in her being unable to achieve restorative sleep. Being  unable to work effectively caused her anxiety. Over the course of c. 4-6 months after the accident her whiplash symptoms transformed into a more widespread diffuse aching throughout her body coupled with headaches, mental fatigue and impaired cognitive function. Seven months after the accident a rheumatologist diagnosed fibromyalgia although features of her presentation did not fit comfortably within the diagnosis. Over the ensuing five years her health deteriorated, and despite having access to a bespoke residential pain management course, her function declined to the point where she became largely wheelchair dependent and acquired significant care and housing needs.

On her case her presentation was explained by post-traumatic fibromyalgia; the nexus between the trauma and the subsequent fibromyalgia was not simply a temporal one, but one involving a mechanism of trauma-induced non-restorative sleep, specifically an inability to achieved Rapid Eye movement (REM ) sleep. On her case,  she did not present with any other self standing psychiatric disorder to explain part or all of her symptoms. The prognosis was poor and she would require substantial care and assistance for the rest of her life.

The Defendant’s experts considered that her presentation on physical examination of exquisite pain that made it impossible to conduct a structured assessment for fibromyalgia was more suggestive of a psychiatrically-mediated disorder rather than post-traumatic fibromyalgia, and considered that somatic symptom disorder best encapsulated that presentation. They considered that she presented with perfectionist and driven character traits before the accident that rendered her vulnerable to descending into an equivalent psychiatrically-mediated chronic widespread pain state in the absence of trauma, or within a short period of her 38th birthday (her age at the time of the car accident). Furthermore, they contended that because the predominant explanation for her presentation was psychiatrically mediated, rather than organically mediated, the prognosis for substantial, though incomplete recovery was good; the treatment modality of choice was CBT, coupled with a functional restoration programme.

The case settled on day 6 of a trial in the Queen’s Bench Division at a point between the Parties’ respective best case scenarios.

Related Barristers

Marcus Grant

Marcus Grant
Year of Call: 1993

Close X

TEMPLE GARDEN CHAMBERS is a market leading set with recognised excellence in a myriad of practice areas with awarded leaders in twelve specialist areas. TGC has the privilege of being well placed in the Temple and The Hague with superb facilities.

Currently consisting of 17 silks and 60 juniors with outstanding leadership and a long established clerking team acknowledged for their exceptional client services and business development, we are keen to expand upon our key areas.

To accommodate the growth in our core practice areas we are inviting applications from established practitioners and/or teams to further enhance our excellent reputation in the following fields:

• Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
• Inquests & Inquiries
• Health & Safety
• Costs & Litigation Funding

TGC is widely recognised for its friendly ethos and its commitment to Equality & Diversity and Wellbeing. We are especially keen to encourage applications from underrepresented groups at the bar – women, people with disabilities, those from ethnic minority groups and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Applications will be treated with the strictest confidence and should be addressed to the Head of Chambers, Keith Morton QC

In advance of any formal application both Keith Morton QC and Dean Norton (Senior Clerk) would be delighted to have a confidential discussion. To arrange a meeting please contact Dean on 020 7842 8641 or