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Newman v Folkes & Another, Court of Appeal

8 May 2002
The issues

Cost of Care – Gratuitous Care Rates

The facts

The Claimant was seriously injured in a road traffic accident. Amongst the heads of damage were cost of care. £100,000.00 was awarded in respect of this item of claim. The care was provided gratuitously by the wife. The Judge made the award without a discount from the commercial rate paid to care assistants. The Defendant appealed inter alia against the award for past and future care.

The decision

1. The Claimant was potentially a violent individual demanding attention both day and night.

2. A carer would receive an increased rate for unsocial hours.

3. The Judge had calculated this award on the cost of care on the basis of flat rates.

4. There was no conventional discount which had to be applied where care was provided gratuitously – see Evans v Pontypridd Roofing Limited.

The Court quoted May LJ “this Court should avoid putting first instance Judges in too restrictive a straight jacket, such as might happen if it was said that the means of assessing a proper recompense for services provided gratuitously by a family carer had to be assessed in a particular way or ways. Circumstances vary enormously and what is appropriate and just in one case may no be so in another%u2026 the assessment is of an amount as a whole. The means of reaching the assessment must depend on what is appropriate to the individual case”.

The Judge had looked at this head of damages. He had made no error of principal and the exercise of discretion did not produce a figure that was played upon.

Appeal dismissed.

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