R v. H 23.08.17
46 year old middle manager recovered £579,000 for the consequences of a diffuse axonal brain injury and vestibular damage sustained in a workplace accident. Marcus Grant (instructed by Mark Ellis of CFG Law) appeared for the Claimant.
In December 2012 the Claimant, then a 41 year old middle manager employed by Hewlett Packard, sustained a blow to the back of his head when he slipped on a pool of water in a client’s office bathroom, and was rendered unconscious for a few minutes. Thereafter he presented with a cluster of physical, cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms, the most debilitating of which were pervasive mental fatigue and impaired balance, that rendered him unfit to return to work. With the passage of time and some treatment, he was able to engage in a limited set of activities that included driving short distances and attending a gym, and to assist once a week in a homeless shelter, but was unable to cope with the demands of his job. His team of experts diagnosed the cluster of enduring symptoms as the consequence of likely diffuse axonal injury to the white matter of his brain, together with a peripheral vestibular lesion interfering with his balance mechanism and secondary impaired mood and heightened anxiety-mediate psychiatric pathology, associated with the likely brain injury and with the enforced lifestyle changes. The Defendant’s team of experts rejected any suggestion of white matter damage to his brain, even at a microscopic level in the absence of corroborative radiological imaging, and suggested instead that the residual reported subjective symptoms, to the extent that they were genuine, were the product of a pre-accident psychological vulnerability and a misinformed iatrogenic belief system; further the Defendant asserted that they were capable of being reversed with CBT post settlement. Concerns were raised about the Claimant’s credibility because various Facebook posts and photographs appeared to contradict the sedate and sedentary lifestyle he described to the doctors. The Claimant had the benefit a PHI policy that paid out 2/3 of his income.
The settlement, achieved through negotiation, reflected a compromise between the Parties’ respective positions.