M (a child) v Leeds Health Authority: QBD 2002

The claimant, her brother and her parents had lived in a detached house before the relevant negligence occurred, but thereafter had moved into a bungalow purchased and adapted to meet her needs. The defendant sought to deduct, during the period (to the age of 25 years) for which the claimant was expected to share the house with her family, the value to the claimant’s parents of having a house provided free of charge for the whole family.
Held: The argument was rejected: ‘I come back to the basic proposition, which is that this is a compensation claim made on behalf of M. It is intended to compensate her for the effects of her disability. While she, for the purposes of this calculation, notionally lives at home with her parents until the age of 25, it seems to me that she is in no different position from any child who could not reasonably be expected to go out into the market place and buy accommodation.’
The defendant argued also for a deduction of the value of the property that, if the claimant had not been injured, she would have been likely to have purchased herself when she left home. Sullivan J accepted that such a deduction was appropriate from the time when the claimant could have been expected to leave the family home and acquire her own accommodation.


Sullivan J


[2002] PIQR Q46


England and Wales

Damages, Personal Injury

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.567516