T v. N 16.07.21
A 36-year-old prison officer recovered £430,000 in respect of a mild traumatic brain injury [“MTBI”] and associated audiovestibular [“AV”] and psychological injuries after being knocked off her motorcycle at low speed.
Following the accident she developed a cluster of physical and cognitive symptoms that became more debilitating over the 30 days after the accident as she attempted to push herself to return to work. These attempts provoked intermittent vestibular migraines and migraine related balance disorder which underpinned the subsequent deterioration in her symptoms (on her case).
Her symptoms were debilitating; she was forced to leave the prison service and became acutely distressed by excessive visual or audible stimuli and unable to work.
On her case, the blow to her helmet hitting the road surface and/or the acceleration-deceleration-rotational forces initiated by the collision were sufficient to cause a probable MTBI; careful testing of her AV system revealed bilateral hypofunction of the saccular maculae. She suffered an acute neuropsychiatric response to the symptoms and their enforced lifestyle changes.
The claim was advanced on the basis of these separate subtle neurological, AV and psychiatric strands overlaying, maintaining and exacerbating each other.
The claim was defended vigorously on the basis that she has sustained nothing more than a short lived soft tissue injury; it was asserted that she had not sustained any MTBI or AV injuries and any psychological symptoms were attributable to a pre-morbid vulnerability.
Further or in the alternative, at the 6th anniversary of the accident, N advanced an alternative case suggesting that any symptoms she could persuade a Court were genuine were instead attributable to a control and restraint incident in the course of her work 30 hours earlier in which a prisoner’s foot came into contact with her face.
No allegations of dishonesty were pleaded and no surveillance disclosed to contradict her self-report of her restricted lifestyle.
Significant costs were expended by both parties in advancing their respective cases which eventually ended with the above settlement through ADR a few months before trial.