Accommodation Claims: Swift v Carpenter: Court of Appeal decision
James Arney appeared as sole counsel in the quantum trial in 2018, and was led on this appeal by Derek Sweeting QC, instructed by Grant Incles of Leigh Day & Co.
This case involved re-consideration of the mechanism for assessing the loss to a claimant of having to fund the purchase of special alternative accommodation. The previous mechanism, derived from the decision in Roberts v Johnstone  QB 878, was challenged as being “unfit for purpose”, both by reason of the current negative discount rate which produced a nil valuation in all cases, and more generally.
In this long-awaited landmark decision, the Court of Appeal has held that Roberts v Johnstone does not give full and fair compensation and should be replaced. Instead a new mechanism has been created, based upon calculating the “market value” of the notional reversionary interest (using a +5% investment rate), which is to be deducted from the full capital value of the increased cost of the special accommodation.
This decision impacts on the vast majority of high value personal injury claims, significantly increasing the awards that claimants will achieve.