VWX v Connells Residential
5th March 2019
Simon Browne QC (leading Marcus Grant) represented the Claimant who was left with enduring neuro-psychiatric and vestibular symptoms after a modest blow to the head. The Claimant was 39 at the time of the accident and the principal breadwinner for his family. He had a pre-accident history of psychological vulnerability.
He attempted to continue working for roughly a year after the accident in a demanding job. However, he developed symptoms including impaired memory, fatigue and irritability, impaired balance, headaches and tinnitus, and became increasingly isolated from the world around him. With his deterioration he gained weight, developed tics and a speech and movement disorder coupled with obesity, which impaired his mobility.
A prolonged period of in-patient treatment in a head injury unit failed to break the deadlock in his symptoms. A principal diagnosis was made of functional neurological disorder compounded by the consequences of a concussive head injury. The prognosis was guarded. He required support from a case manager and support worker and lacked capacity to litigate.
The Defendant was sceptical in attributing the Claimant’s presentation to the objectively modest blow to his head, preferring to attribute it in part to prior vulnerability. They suggested there was a volitional element to his presentation and that the prospect of full recovery was good. Further, the Defendant did not accept that the presumption of capacity was displaced.
The settlement reflected a compromise between the Parties’ respective positions.