Jefford v Gee: CA 4 Mar 1970

The courts of Scotland followed the civil law in the award of interest on damages. The court gave examples of the way in which they apply the ex mora rule when calculating the interest payable in a judgment. If money was wrongfully withheld, then the courts had power to award interest during the period of delay between the time the money was legally and ascertainably due and the time when the court ordered that it should be paid.
The court established the principles for awarding interest on damages awards in personal injuries cases: ‘Therefore if I could see my way to do so, I should certainly be disposed to give the appellants, or anybody in a similar position, interest upon the amount withheld from the time of action brought at all events.’ and ‘It should only be awarded to a plaintiff for being kept out of money which ought to have been paid to him’ and ‘We applied this principle very recently in Harbutt’s ‘Plasticine’ Ltd . . . where we all agreed in saying: ‘the basis of an award of interest is that the defendant has kept the plaintiff out of his money; and the defendant has had the use of it himself. So he ought to compensate the plaintiff accordingly’.’ The court used published short term interest rates. The half rate approach was used because interest was not large enough to warrant minute attention to detail. The half rate was a reasonable approximation. In relation to benefits, the plaintiff (whilst he received no interest on the moiety for which he gave credit against damages) did not have to give credit in the interest calculation in respect of his windfall receipt of the other moiety of benefits paid.

Lord Denning MR
[1970] 2 QB 130, [1970] EWCA Civ 8, [1970] 1 All ER 1202, [1970] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 107, [1970] 2 WLR 702
CitedLondon, Chatham and Dover Railway Co v South Eastern Railway Co HL 1893
The Lord Chancellor was considering the position of a creditor whose debtor refused to exchange accounts as agreed, thus preventing the creditor from quantifying the debt.
Held: The House declined to alter the rule in Page -v- Newman.
Cited by:
CitedLesotho Highlands Development Authority v Impregilo Spa and others CA 31-Jul-2003
The parties went to arbitration to resolve disputes in a construction contract. The award appeared to have been made for payment in currencies different from those set out in the contract. The question was asked as to whether the award of interest . .
CitedSpittle v Bunney CA 1988
The plaintiff made a claim in damages for the loss of her mother’s services.
Held: In assessing a FAA claim on behalf of a child a judge, directing himself as he would a jury, was, in valuing the mothers services to take into account the . .
CitedEagle (By Her Litigation Friend) v Chambers CA 29-Jul-2004
The claimant had been severely injured, and a substantial damages award made. Cross appeals were heard as to the several elements awarded. The claimant sought as part of her award of damages for personal injuries the fees she would have to pay to . .
CitedAdcock v Co-Operative Insurance Society Ltd CA 26-Apr-2000
The claimant claimed under his fire insurance with the defendants. He sought damages for their delay in processing the claim.
Held: The power to award interest on damages is discretionary. The judge had refused to allow interest, at a rate . .
CitedKnight v Axa Assurances QBD 24-Jul-2009
The claimant was injured in a car accident in France. The defendant insurer said that the quantification of damages was to be according to French law and the calculation of interest also. The claimant said that English law applied.
Held: The . .
CitedDexter v Courtaulds Ltd CA 1984
The plaintiff had been injured at work, and awarded damages, including for loss of wages. The parties disputed the method of calculation of interest on the damages.
Held: To avoid the laborious detailed calaculations of interest from day to . .
CitedCookson v Knowles CA 1977
Lord Denning MR said: ‘In Jefford v Gee . . we said that, in personal injury cases, when a lump sum is awarded for pain and suffering and loss of amenities, interest should run ‘ from the date of service of the ‘writ to the date of trial’. At that . .
CitedPickett v British Rail Engineering HL 2-Nov-1978
Lost Earnings claim Continues after Death
The claimant, suffering from mesothelioma, had claimed against his employers and won, but his claim for loss of earnings consequent upon his anticipated premature death was not allowed. He began an appeal, but then died. His personal representatives . .
CitedRevenue and Customs v Joint Administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) SC 13-Mar-2019
The Court was asked whether interest payable under rule 14.23(7) of the Insolvency Rules 2016 is ‘yearly interest’ within the meaning of section 874 of the Income Tax Act 2007. If so, the administrators must deduct income tax before paying interest . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Scotland, Personal Injury

Updated: 17 January 2022; Ref: scu.185179