22 March, 2017
Leonie Millard, Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Forbes Solicitors, represented the first reported recipient of an increase in damages following a change to the discount rate applied to personal injury settlements.
In the case of LMS v East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, the Claimant, represented by Leonie Millard, will now receive over £9million, an increase of over £5.5 million, in compensation. This was the first case to calculate the claim based on the new discount rate of -0.75%, which came into effect from 20th March. The previous discount rate had been in place for 17 years. In simple terms this means that claims, particularly in respect of future loss, will be much more valuable.
The Claimant, 10, was left with cerebral palsy following complications at birth. The case against the Royal Blackburn Hospital surrounded the method of delivery. A settlement figure had been negotiated, but was revised once the Lord Chancellor announced the change. This landmark decision will hugely benefit the claimant especially in a deal where she will receive 50% of her damages. There is an anonymity order prohibiting the disclosure of any name, address, picture or info intending to identify the Claimant or Litigation Friend.
Leonie Millard comments, "The benefit for the Claimant from the new -0.75% discount rate is immense. It vastly improves the long term future financial ability to meet her needs for the rest of her life, which is expected to be long. Her parents are comforted to know that there is funding to ensure that her needs are properly met when they are no longer around."
The change will have huge implications for high value claims arising out of cerebral palsy and brain injury, which invariably include substantial claims in respect of future care provision, loss of earning and accommodation.
The decision will have an impact on the NHS, but the Government has set aside money to fund this. It is an increase to damages, and not to the costs claimed by solicitors.