9th July 2019
A multi-million claim by a Premier League professional footballer was settled after he suffered a serious leg injury in a road traffic accident. Simon Browne QC represented the Defendant insurer where liability and quantum were in issue. Both parties relied upon expert evidence including statisticians, industry experts and detailed forensic accountancy evidence, as to career prospects with the issues of career progression and loss of chance being central to the claim.
At the time of the accident the footballer was playing in the Premier League. Although he resumed squad training after a year, in his absence the club bought two new players in similar positions, who have continued to play in the first team ahead of the Claimant. The Claimant argued that but for the accident he would have been selected regularly for the first team and progressed at the end of his contract to higher ranked clubs.
The issue of how to characterise the footballer’s future career loss was in dispute. Arguments were made as to whether the new players would have been bought anyway, whether the Claimant’s failure to reach the first team was as a result of their good performance or his injury, and what the impact of decision making by three successive managers would have been regardless of his injury.
In-depth reports and evidence were relied upon from statisticians and specialist industry experts. Further disputes arose around the complex accounting methodology relied on by the Claimant’s experts. The methodology hypothesised a number of future career scenarios and allowed for a cumulative loss of chance figure based on the percentage probability of each scenario occurring. The Defendant’s argued this was not a loss of chance case but a balance of probability calculation.