Over three days this week the Court of Appeal heard – remotely – the test case challenge to the current basis of valuing awards for the additional costs of suitable or adapted accommodation in claims arising from serious injuries. The calculation features use of the personal injury discount rate and, since that is negative at present, it produces (mathematically at least) ‘no loss’ for the claimant. The claimant in Swift v Carpenter argues this is unsatisfactory and therefore seeks a new approach.
In an earlier post in February we noted that the Advocate-General assigned to the RB v TÜV Rheinland case had advised that the restriction, in a liability policy issued to the manufacturer of silicone implants, of cover to damage sustained in France did not engage the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality set out in the European Treaty. The discrimination had been alleged by a patient who had implants inserted, and thus sustained damage, in Germany. In its judgment of 11 June the CJEU endorsed the AG’s view and provided further guidance.
The Northern Ireland Department of Justice NI today issued, as had been expected before the summer break, a consultation paper on changing the legal framework by which the personal injury discount rate (PIDR) may be set. By coincidence, the consultation follows only a week after a similar exercise was launched by the Justice Department in Dublin.