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Fatal accident settlement for £1,175,000 where both parents were killed

27th October 2022

James Arney KC, instructed by Patrick Maguire and Amber Braybrooke at HCC, secured a settlement of £1,175,000 in a fatal accident claim where both parents had died, leaving two young children to be brought up within their extended family.  The award included a ring-fenced £200,000 award to enable a larger property to be purchased by the children’s grandmother and aunt.  Apportionment issues were complex, needing to have regard to anticipated future changes to the children’s primary care regime.

The legal team worked collaboratively with Nigel Adams at DAC Beachcrofts to address the immediate need of enabling the new family unit to move to larger, more suitable accommodation.  Cutting through the legal complexities of this head of loss, a ring-fenced £200,000 interim award was secured for this purpose.

Thereafter the parties settled the remaining claims for £975,000 shortly after JSM discussions.  Quantum issues included the likely future income of the deceased couple, neither of whom were in work; and whether the services dependency claim should be valued by reference to commercial or gratuitous care, and at what dependency rate.

Unusually for a fatal claim, some of the most complex issues related to apportionment.  These included: –

·         How the award should be apportioned between carers and the two children, reflecting past and future housing, financial and services needs;

·         How the carers’ share should be apportioned between the current primary carers and those who may subsequently take their place in the future;

·         How the children’s share should be apportioned between the 3 and 12-year-old siblings;

·         How the reversionary interest in the new property should be preserved for the children’s long-term benefit; and

·         How the funds should be invested, to include the setting up of multiple accounts within the Court Funds Office.

The parties were greatly assisted by the proactive approach of Master Sullivan.



Related Barristers

James Arney KC

James Arney KC
Year of Call: 1992
Year of Silk: 2021