The plaintiff had been a technical sergeant in the United States Air Force; his pay had been $450 per month and after his injuries caused by the negligence of the defendants’ driver he received only a ‘veteran’s benefit’ of $217 per month
Held: He must ‘give credit for all sums which he receives in diminution of his loss, save in so far as it would not be fair or just to require him to do so.[He said that it would] . . obviously not be fair to reduce his damages by reason of charitable gifts made to him . . or by reason of insurance benefits which he has bought with his own money’ He asked what he called a simple question: ‘Is it fair and just that . . regard should be had to the fact that the plaintiff is already, as of right, in receipt of nearly half his pay? And my answer is, Yes.’
Diplock LJ said that Gourley’s case was an authority for taking the pension into account; he distinguished Bradburn’s case on the ground that the right to receive insurance money ‘is not sufficiently closely connected with the actual loss for which the defendant is liable to compensate him.’
Lord Denning MR and Diplock LJ, Donovan LJ (dissenting)
 1 QB 750,  3 All ER 1089
England and Wales
Cited – British Transport Commission v Gourley HL 1955
It is a universal rule that the plaintiff cannot recover more than he has lost and that realities must be considered rather than technicalities. The damages to be awarded for personal injury including loss of earnings should reflect the fact that . .
Distinguished – Bradburn v Great Western Rail Co CEC 1874
The plaintiff had received a sum of money from a private insurer to compensate him for lost income as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of the defendant.
Held: He was entitled to full damages as well as the payment from the . .
Cited – Cunningham v Harrison CA 17-May-1973
The plaintiff had been severely injured, and would need nursing care for the rest of his life. His wife nursed him until her death, but had given a statement that if not for her two full time nurses would be required. His employer continued to pay . .
Applied – Parry v Cleaver CA 9-May-1967
The plaintiff policeman was hit by a car whilst he was on traffic duty. When he claimed damages in negligence the defendant sought to have deducted from his award an amount received by way of additional pension payments received which had been . .
Disapprove – Parry v Cleaver HL 5-Feb-1969
PI Damages not Reduced for Own Pension
The plaintiff policeman was disabled by the negligence of the defendant and received a disablement pension. Part had been contributed by himself and part by his employer.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal succeeded. Damages for personal injury were . .
Cited – Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust CA 3-Aug-2018
Upon the allegedly negligent release of the claimant from mental health care, she had, while in the midst of a serious psychotic episode, derived from the schizophrenia, killed her mother and been convicted of manslaughter. She now sought damages in . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 February 2021; Ref: scu.225261