13th October 2016
Anthony Johnson (instructed by Richard Foyster of Ashtons) represented the Claimant and Sian Reeves (instructed by Francois Liebenberg of the Government Legal Department) the Defendant in this personal injury claim that arose from injuries sustained by a 35-year-old Traffic Examiner in the course of her employment with the Department for Transport. Liability was admitted soon after the accident and the matter eventually settled in the gross sum of £180,000 at a Joint Settlement Meeting that took place on 11th October 2016.
The Claimant, a 35-year-old Traffic Examiner, suffered a minimally displaced intra-trochanteric fracture of the femur in an accident at work that occurred on 07.12.12 in the course of her employment for the Department for Transport; liability was admitted in May 2013 and the matter proceeded on a causation and quantum only basis. Unfortunately, the Claimant’s condition worsened and she began to experience increasing pain, which was subsequently diagnosed as early post-traumatic arthritis of the hip. Orthopaedic experts instructed by both parties agreed that the Claimant would require hip replacement surgery within 2-7 years as a consequence of the accident, and that given her relatively young age she would require one, probably two, revisions of the hip replacement in later life. The Claimant also experienced bladder symptoms of mild urinary incontinence, urinary leakage and urgency, which her urological expert was prepared to tentatively attribute to the accident, although both parties wished to explore this issue further with him and the Defendant intended to obtain its own urological evidence. In addition, the Claimant reported some intrusive psychological symptoms in the form of nightmares and flashbacks.
The matter came to Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) at a relatively early juncture post-issue, prior to the case management stage; both parties were keen to restrict the costs incurred if at all possible, notwithstanding that the evidence was far from finalised. The Claimant instructed Anthony Johnson for the JSM and the Defendant Sian Reeves. The three main issues between the parties related to the level of general damages, the treatment of the Claimant’s pleaded future losses and, most significantly, a claim for future loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity. The major complicating feature in relation to the latter head of claim was that although the Claimant had suffered little loss of earnings to date, she was expected to require lengthy periods off work both before and after hip replacement surgery and revision surgery and, in any event, both parties’ experts agreed that she at some disadvantage on the open market and thus eligible for a Smith v. Manchester award. Following extensive negotiations, the parties were pleased to agree a settlement figure of £180,000.