Roach 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 plaintiff and the two ladies that he would reimburse them.
Greer LJ said: ‘He can get those services, and perhaps get them better than in any other way, from the attendance which is being given to him by his wife and his sister-in-law; but he would naturally feel that he ought to compensate them for what they have lost by giving up the work at which they were earning the sum of pounds 3 a week. I think that Mr Beyfus was right in saying that we must take into account, at any rate for the period during which the plaintiff may now be expected to live, the sum of pounds 3 a week as the minimum expense which the plaintiff would have to incur in retaining the nursing services of his wife and his sister-in-law.’
Slesser LJ said: ‘Criticism has been made of the suggestion that one method of estimating his loss [of wages] is to consider what he would have earned during his life. Speaking for myself, I see no justification for approaching that problem by starting with the assumption that he would only have lived so long as the accident has now allowed him to live. I think the proper way of approaching the problem is that which was followed in Phillips v. London and South Western Railway Co. (1879)5 QBD 78, the leading case on this matter – namely, first to consider what sum he would have been likely to make during his normal life if he had not met with his accident.’

Paull J, Greer LJ, Slesser LJ
[1937] 3 All ER 442, [1938] 1 KB 256
England and Wales
CitedPhillips v London and South Western Railway
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 . .

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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Damages

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.654042