Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2003] All ER (D) 202 (Jun)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Judge MacDuff QC

Representation Andrew Spink QC (instructed by Irwin Mitchell) for the claimants.
  Charles Haddon-Cave QC and John Russell (instructed by Field Fisher Waterhouse) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 1 May 2003


Damages and compensation - Assessment of damages - Gratuitous care - Existence of threshold for award - Approach to assessing parents' care of sick children.

The Case

There was no threshold requirement for the award of compensation in respect of gratuitous care. When the illness became sufficiently serious to require significant extra care over and above that which would be given anyway in the ordinary course of family life, the carer was to be compensated. In relation to parents looking after children, it would be artificial to adopt the traditional approach to assessing damages, namely assessing number of hours, applying a commercial rate, and then discounting, where the parent was providing a mixture of love support and care. However, it was possible to understand the general nature of the extra burden placed upon the parent, and to make a proportionate and proper award in all the circumstances.

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