23rd November 2016
Marcus Grant (instructed by Darren Wilson of Irwin Mitchell) appeared for the Claimant.
In February 2012 the Claimant sustained a soft tissue ‘whiplash’ injury to his cervical spine in a low energy road accident. Despite several different forms of treatment he continued 4.5 years later to be left with pain across his right trapezius when holding a baton which prevented him from being able to cope with the physical demands of conducting to a high level, either in live performance or in a recording studio.
Although he had no track record of having earned any significant sums from conducting at the time of the accident when he was aged 44, there was cogent evidence that he had a chance of becoming either a leading conductor of a high profile orchestra or from earning his living as a conductor who produced high profile concerts with established stars. It was accepted that the residual low level of symptoms was likely to be permanent and that it was possible that they might interfere with conducting at the highest level. The lion’s share of the settlement represented a ‘Smith v. Manchester’ award for the lost chance of enjoying higher earnings as a principal conductor than engaged in a less physically demanding role in the music industry.
The £200,000 recovered by way of damages was the product of a negotiation between the Parties, weighing up the credibility, vulnerability and causation risks on the facts of the case.