Phillips v London and South Western Railway Co: CA 1879

In an action against the railway company for personal injury to a passenger, a physician, making pounds 5,000 a year, and where is an increasing practice, the jury in assessing the damages to their consideration, besides the pain and suffering of the plaintiff, and the expense incurred by him for medical and other and necessary attendance, the loss he sustained through his inability to continue a lucrative professional practice.
James LJ said: ‘You are to consider what his income would probably have been, how long that income would probably have lasted, and you have to take into consideration all the other contingencies to which a practice is liable.’
A new trial will be granted in an action for personal injuries sustained through the defendant’s negligence by the damages found by the jury are so small as to show that they must have omitted to take into consideration some of the elements of damage. The verdicts of juries as to the amount of damages, are subject, and must, for the sake of justice, be subject to the supervision of a court of first instance, and, if necessary by a court of Appeal in this way, that is to say, if in the judgement of the court, the damages are unreasonably large or unreasonably small then the court is bound to send the matter for reconsideration by another jury.

James LJ
(1879) 5 CPD 280, [1874-80] All ER Rep 1176, (1879) 49 LJQB 233, (1879) 42 LT 6, (1879) 44 JP 217
England and Wales
Cited by:
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 . .
CitedHarris v Brights Asphalt Contractors Ltd QBD 1953
The plaintiff was not to be prevented from recovering the costs of private medical treatment.
It was argued and decided that (a) damages for the loss of earnings for the ‘lost years’ is nil, and (b) ‘the only relevance of earnings which would . .
CitedRoach v Yates CA 1937
The plaintiff had been gravely injured. His wife and sister-in-law had nursed him and gave up their employment for that purpose.
Held: The plaintiff could recover their lost wages, albeit there was no suggestion of any agreement between the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Personal Injury

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.654044