Haxton v Philips Electronics: Court of Appeal allows novel head of damages

Haxton v Philips Electronics [2014] EWCA Civ 4

Catherine Foster represented the Defendant in this appeal where the Court of Appeal allowed a novel head of damage where a Claimant who was pursuing a claim as a dependent under the FAA and Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 was herself diagnosed with mesothelioma arising from the negligence of the same tortfeasor. She succeeded in recovering the diminution in value of her dependency claim, notwithstanding that she was also entitled to pursue a separate claim arising from her own injury. This decision potentially has far-reaching implications and may well apply to other cases where the Claimant has a cause of action that has been reduced in value due to a tortious act that occurred after the cause of action had accrued. It is notable that the case did not turn on the common identity of the tortfeasor in the first and second claims. Notwithstanding the novelty of the claim, the Court was persuaded that this outcome resulted from the application of established legal principle.

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