Swift v Carpenter: “Permission to appeal is refused.”

The Court of Appeal today rejected the defendant’s application to appeal to the Supreme Court and dealt with costs issues, making an interim costs award of half a million pounds in the claimant’s favour and awarding additional damages of £65,000 because she had beaten her own Part 36 offer. The brief judgment released this morning may not be the end of the matter if the defendant chooses to apply directly to the Supreme Court.

Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs

Swift v Carpenter: where we are now on calculating accommodation awards

The decision in Swift earlier in the month significantly changes how this head of loss is assessed in catastrophic injury cases. In the ten days since the judgment was delivered, there have been (virtual) acres of technical commentary and various on-line briefings have been held, including two that we facilitated and including our spreadsheet (attached at the end of this blog) which performs the new calculation.

The purpose of this blog is therefore neither to provide an in-depth analysis of the decision nor to offer a ‘how to’ guide to the new approach – however, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Andrew Hibbert or me if we can help with that – but rather to draw out core points, below, which have become a good deal clearer after considered reflection on the outcome.

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Accommodating the future following injury

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.

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