Appleton and others v Garrett: 1996

The plaintiffs were patients of the defendant dentist who had carried out unnecessary treatment on them; they claimed damages for trespass and sought aggravated damages.
Held: There was no reason in principle why awards of aggravated damages should not be made for feelings of anger or indignation in cases of trespass to the person where injury to the feelings were an important part of the damage for which compensation was awarded: ‘To say that the law permits recovery of aggravated damages where the relevant conduct has caused injury to feelings, insult indignity, humiliation and a heightened sense of injury or grievance, but not where it has caused anger or indignation, is very difficult to justify in terms of principle or common sense’. The plaintiffs were entitled to aggravated but moderate damages: ‘If substantial awards are made to reflect the court’s disapproval of the defendant’s conduct, they would become punitive. It is important to keep in mind that aggravated damages are compensatory.’


[1996] PIQR P1


England and Wales


DistinguishedAB v South West Water Services Ltd CA 1993
Exemplary and aggravated damages were claimed in an action for nuisance arising out of the contamination of water by the defendant utility.
Held: Sir Thomas Bingham MR said: ‘A defendant accused of crime may ordinarily be ordered (if . .
CitedW v Meah 1986
The defendant had attacked two women, one he raped and the other he seriously sexually assaulted. They both brought actions claiming damages for personal injuries. The woman who was raped was subjected to what was described by the trial judge as . .

Cited by:

CitedRichardson v Howie CA 13-Aug-2004
The claimant sought damages for assault. In the course of a tempestuous relationship, she said the respondent had physically assaulted her in Barbados. He was later convicted of soliciting her murder. She sought and was awarded aggravated damages, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Damages

Updated: 23 November 2022; Ref: scu.200254