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Personal injury update: undervalued claims

Vijay Ganapathy considers the consequences of an undervalued 
claim and a local authority’s 
non-delegable duty of care

25 May 2012

In the Court of Appeal case of Dunhill v Burgin [2012] EWCA Civ 397, the claimant, ‘C’, suffered severe traumatic brain injury when she was hit by a motorcyclist. She experienced ‘significant’ cognitive, emotional and psychiatric difficulties. There was also a change in her personality. As a consequence, she required ongoing assistance that included case management and sheltered therapeutic employment.

She instructed solicitors and, later, had the benefit of counsel’s advice. However, despite her condition and need for continued support, a relatively low award was claimed on her behalf. Moreover, the question of whether she was a ‘patient’ within CPR part 21 appears to have ?never been considered, meaning no litigation friend was appointed despite ?her injuries.

Her case was subsequently set down for trial, but compromised at the court do...

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