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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Devoy v William Doxford & Sons Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1598 (QB) (21 July 2009)
Cite as:  EWHC 1598 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
| CAROL DEVOY
(Widow and Administratrix of the Estate of
ALEXANDER DEVOY, deceased)
|- and -
|WILLIAM DOXFORD & SONS LIMITED (1)
WILLIAM DOXFORD & SONS (ENGINEERS) LIMITED (2)
STUNTBRAND LINE LIMITED (IN LIQUIDATION) (3)
Colin McCaul Q.C. (instructed by Eversheds) for the Defendants
Hearing dates: 10-12 June 2009
Crown Copyright ©
His Honour Judge Reddihough :
General Damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity: As I have indicated, it appears from the deceased's witness statement, the evidence of the Claimant, and the medical report from Dr. Page, that he had symptoms attributable to the mesothelioma for something between 9 and 12 months prior to his death. In particular, he had complained of pain in the right side of his chest for several months prior to July 2006. He also had the breathlessness and tiredness referred to in his witness statement. He had to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which had unpleasant effects for him and which he found frustrating because it was clear to him they were not ameliorating his condition. Clearly, nearer to his death, his condition became worse and as the Claimant said it gave rise to the spread of a tumour to his brain, which made him impatient and quick-tempered. As with any case of a terminal disease such as mesothelioma, the mental suffering associated with it has to be an important factor. The deceased would know that his enjoyment of all of his activities and his life with the Claimant was to be drastically curtailed. Added to that would be his inevitable worry about the future for the Claimant without him being there to care for her and support her with her disabilities. It was argued on behalf of the Claimant that, in addition to an award for pain and suffering and loss of amenity, there should be a separate award for the deceased's reduced ability to care for the Claimant during the period leading up to his death. It is clear from the case of Lowe -v- Guise  QB 1369 that such award can be made. However, it was suggested that it could be a factor to be included in the award for General Damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity, rather than as a separate award (see at Page 1389D). In my judgment, bearing in mind the relatively limited period of the deceased's reduced ability to care for his wife, it is appropriate to include that element in the award for General Damages for pain and suffering and I so do. I was referred to the Judicial Studies Board's Guidelines in relation to cases of malignant mesothelioma and also to the case of Cameron -v- Vinters Defence Systems Ltd.  EWHC 2267 (QB), where an award was made in relation to a period of some 5 or 6 months of symptoms from malignant mesothelioma. I have also had regard to reported cases in the appropriate section of Kemp and Kemp on Quantum of Damages. Doing the best I can, in all the circumstances, I have come to the conclusion that the appropriate overall figure for General Damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity (to include the reduced ability of the deceased to care for the Claimant) is £59,000.
Bereavement award: The sum of £10,000 falls to be awarded in respect of this head of claim.
|30 January - 30 March 2007:||£707.20|
|1 April - 12 July 2007:||£1,256.75|
|13 July 2007 - 31 March 2008:||£604.61|
|1 April 2008 - 10 June 2009 (62 weeks @ £16.75 p.w.):||£1,038.50|
From this should be deducted 25%, leaving a total for this item of loss of £2,705.30.
Cleaning January 2007: £214.50
Cleaning from 12 July 2007 - 6 January 2009
(@ £25 per week): £1,950.00
|£14.13 per hour x 12 x 7 x 52 weeks:||£61,719.84|
|Night care on holidays - 4 weeks:||£1,589.56|
|Thus the total future care costs for the period
up until 1 July, 2010 is:
Additionally, night care should be allowed for this period at the figure provided by Miss Ward, namely: £21,668.92 per annum.
Therefore, the total cost per annum for the care in the period of 1 July, 2010 to January 2013 is £88,990.72 per annum. The agreed multiplier for this period is 2.3. Thus the total cost of care for this period is £204,678.65.
1934 Act claim
General Damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity: £59,000.00
|Past care of deceased:||£1,000.00|
|Miscellaneous and travel:||£400.00|
Fatal Accidents Act
|Past financial dependency:||£10,588.50|
|Future financial dependency:||£33,739.61|
|Past care and services dependency:||£18,700.61|
|Future services (care):||£330,001.79|
|Future services (other):||£32,251.80|
|Love and affection:||£2,000.00|
It is agreed that, from the grand total of damages, there should be deducted the sum of £13,997 which the deceased received by way of a pneumoconiosis award, leaving a final figure for damages of £486,729.80. To this sum there must be added agreed interest of £1296.96, so that there will be judgment for the claimant in the sum of £488,026.76, inclusive of interest.