S v. A (Unrep) – 24.04.2018
Marcus Grant, instructed by Chris Kardahji of Irwin Mitchell LLP, represented a 52-year-old pilot who sustained a whiplash associated disorder and psychological injuries in a head on car accident in which the other driver died. He was unable to work for 14 months after the accident and then returned to flying.
He continued to fly a full roster for the ensuing c. 4 years complaining of a narrowly defined band of thoracic pain, exacerbated by adopting certain fixed postures, including sitting with his arms in front of him when holding a joystick in a commercial aircraft. Also, he suffered headaches in the acute post-accident period which returned at the 5th anniversary of the accident.
His ability to tolerate this pain reduced with the passage of time to the point where he requested part time flying hours, was prescribed pain killing medication and had his licence to fly temporarily suspended by the CAA.
There were multiple issues in the case including the diagnosis and aetiology of his subjective complaints of pain, whether they were objectively sufficiently intrusive to warrant any reduction in his flying hours, whether he had failed to mitigate his loss by seeking part time hours, the prognosis, his likely career path as a pilot and his credibility.
The case settled through negotiation.