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Larkin v Meehan, Cardiff Crown Court, 21 August 2001

16 July 2002
The issues

Neck – whiplash type injury

The facts

The Claimant, a female factory worker, suffered a soft tissue injury to the neck in an RTA (aged 28 at date of accident and 30 at trial). She attended hospital 2-3 days after the accident and was given a soft collar. She suffered severe pain and stiffness for the first 4-6 weeks and then made a gradual recovery. When she was seen 9 months after the accident she complained of intermittent pain in her neck, which was provoked by bending or lifting heavy objects.

She had always been able to undertake most of her domestic and leisure activities and had taken no time off work. However clinical examination revealed significantly restricted movement in the cervical spine.

She was again examined 27 months after the accident and still complained of intermittent neck pain, caused by strenuous activity. Physiotherapy had only provided temporary relief. But there had been significant improvement in her neck movement.

Prognosis – 50% chance of remaining asymptomatic after 10 years – probable long-term/permanent neck pain which was categorised as mild and intermittent and did not interfere with her activities. No deterioration anticipated.

The decision

The Claimant was awarded £6,000.00 General Damages.

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