The deceased member of the armed forces had died in a road traffic accident in Germany. The parties didputed whether the principles governing the calculation of damages were those in the 1976 Act and UK law, or under German law.
Held: ‘There is no difficulty in identifying the critical issues on this appeal for the purpose of ascertaining by which law they are to be determined. They are, first, the head of damages recoverable by the appellant, and, secondly, the assessment or quantification of those damages. It is well established that the former is a matter of substantive law and so governed by the applicable law . . and the latter is regarded, under conflict of law rules, as procedural and so governed by the law of the forum.’ To the extent that the judge said that the level of damages were to be assessed according to German law, he was incorrect. However there was no form of damages in England equivalent to the basis on which damages would be recoverable in Germany, and the court having to find such a method had only been referred to the way it was done in Germany, and that could be used as a starting point at least. It would be wrong also to extend the head of damges so as to make it equivalent to a Fatal Accidents award in England.
Maurice Kay, VP, Etherton LJJ, Dame Janet Smith
 EWCA Civ 854
Fatal Accidents Act 1976, Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995, Regulation EC No 864/2007, Directive 2000/26/EC 3
England and Wales
Cited – Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and Another v Williams CA 15-Feb-2008
The court considered the essential philosophy underwriting the 1976 Act. Smith LJ said: ‘nothing that a dependant (or for that matter anyone else) could do after death could either increase or decrease the dependency. The dependency is fixed at the . .
Cited – Davidsson v Hill CA 1901
Ships collided at sea. The negligent crew were aboard the British ship. A crew member on the Norwegian ship died in the collision, and his family sued here.
Held: The family had a right of action against the defendant owners of the British . .
Cited – 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 – The Esso Malaysia 1974
A Russian seaman died as the result of a collision in international waters between two foreign registered vessels. His family sought to claim here.
Held: The benefit of the Fatal Accidents Acts can, in principle, be claimed by a foreigner. The . .
Cited – Arab Monetary Fund v Hashim 11-Oct-1994
In cases under the 1978 Act the court does not ask whether, under some rule of English private international law to be found independently of that Act, the contribution claim is to be determined by reference to the 1978 Act. Rather, the court asks . .
Cited – Macmillan Inc v Bishopsgate Investment Trust Plc and Others (No 3) CA 2-Nov-1995
The question of ownership of a company is to be decided according to law of country where the company is incorporated. Conflict of laws rules are to be used to look to the issue in the case not the cause of action.
Staughton LJ said: ‘In any . .
Cited – Roerig v Valiant Trawlers Ltd CA 28-Jan-2002
The claimant who was Dutch, was a widow of a fisherman who had died at sea. The question on appeal was ‘in assessing damages for loss of dependency should benefits resulting from the loss be deducted from the damages?’ The claimant’s position under . .
Cited – Maher and Another v Groupama Grand Est CA 12-Nov-2009
Two English claimants respectively suffered injury in a French road accident. They brought claims for damages against the French insurer of the other driver. Judgment on liability was entered by consent. There were issues as to the assessment of . .
Cited – Harding v Wealands HL 5-Jul-2006
Claim in UK for Accident in Australia
The claimant had been a passenger in a car driven by his now partner. They had an accident in New South Wales. The car was insured in Australia. He sought leave to sue in England and Wales because Australian law would limit the damages.
Held: . .
Cited – Cookson v Knowles HL 24-May-1978
The House described the approach to the calculation of damages for a dependency under the Fatal Accidents Acts.
Held: The multipliers in Fatal Accidents Act cases should be calculated from the date of death.
Sections 3 and 4 mark a . .
Cited – Kuwait Airways Corporation v Iraqi Airways Company and Others (Nos 4 and 5) HL 16-May-2002
After the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi government had dissolved Kuwait airlines, and appropriated several airplanes. Four planes were destroyed by Allied bombing, and 6 more were appropriated again by Iran.
Held: The appeal failed. No claim . .
Appeal from – Cox v Ergo Versicherung Ag and Another QBD 28-Oct-2011
The deceased died in a road traffic accident whilst serving in the Armed forces in Germany. The driver was insured under German law. The widow now claimed damages in England. She had entered a new relationship.
Held: The object of section 844 . .
Appeal from – Cox v Ergo Versicherung Ag SC 2-Apr-2014
The deceased army officer serving in Germany died while cycling when hit by a driver insured under German law. His widow, the claimant, being domiciled in England brought her action here, claiming for bereavement and loss of dependency. The Court . .
See Also – Cox v Ergo Versicherung Ag and Another CA 19-Jul-2012
The deceased army officer had been injured in a road traffic accident in Germany. His widow brought proceedings in the UK, anticipating a better damages award than might be available in Germany. She had assigned certain elements of her claim to the . .
Cited – Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie SC 19-Dec-2017
The claimant and her family were in a car crash while on holiday in Egypt. The claimant’s husband and his daughter died. The holiday had been booked in England and the car excursion booked in advance from England. The hotel operator was incorporated . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Damages, Personal Injury, International
Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.460854