Court of Appeal raises personal injuries damages across the board by 10%
James Counsell reports: On 26 July 2012, the Court of Appeal (Lord Judge LCJ, Lord Neuberger (MR) and Sir Maurice Kay (VP CA Civ)) announced an increase in the level of PI and other general damages by 10% to reflect the recommendations of the Jackson report and to anticipate the entry into force of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
Lord Judge, giving the judgment of the court in endorsing a settlement in the PI claim of Simmons v Castle  EWCA Civ 1039, indicated that the increases would apply to all claims for damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in personal injury, nuisance, defamation and all other torts which cause suffering, inconvenience or distress to individuals. The increase will apply to all cases where judgment is given after 1 April.
In referring to Heil v Rankin  EWCA, the Court of Appeal, in accordance with its duty to monitor and, if appropriate to alter rates, said that it was best placed to implement such an increase across the board in order to ensure a consistency of approach by all lower courts.
Somewhat confusingly, the Court’s judgment made clear both that the increase will take effect from 1 April 2013 but also that it would apply to all cases where judgment was given after 1 April. Quite where this leaves cases where judgment is given on 1 April, time will tell. One thing is for sure, we can expect an unseemly rush on the part of Defendant insurers to have their cases tried and disposed of before the end of March next year.
Lawtel transcript can be found at http://www.lawtel.com/UK/FullText/AC0133668CA(CivDiv).pdf
Barristers: James Counsell QC