Local lawyers secure historic $6m pay out in injury claim

| 31/08/2016 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, George Town

(CNS Business): The Cayman court recently made a record-breaking personal injury ruling in a near 20-year-old case to cover the lifetime care costs of the victim, who was only 12 years old when he was involved in a boating incident. The details of the case are under wraps as a result of a court order, but local attorneys Samson and McGrath, who took up the case some four years ago, said the award they secured after a trial earlier this year is the highest personal injury payout in the history of the Cayman Islands by a court and has established legal precedent. “The award is an important and life changing settlement for our client,” the firm said.

“Our client, who was 12 years old at the time of the accident, suffered a severe, complicated brain injury and effective blindness in his right eye. The accident left him with life changing injuries which have resulted in him being permanently incapable of meaningful employment and in need of substantial care to meet his needs for the remainder of his life.”

The lawyers explained that the award of damages was not only historic in relation to the amount but it established legal precedent for the protection of vulnerable parties in the absence of a Cayman Islands Court of Protection and confirmed a 10% uplift here from UK guidelines on damages to reflect the higher cost of living in the Cayman Islands.

The incident, in which the man was injured when he was still 12 years old, happened in 1998. Responsibility for the accident had already been determined in previous court hearings and over the last 18 years payments had been made to cover the cost of medical case. But the recent trial was to determine the total amount of lifetime compensation the victim should receive.

The order covers the man’s lost lifetime earnings, his healthcare and the pension contributions that he would have made were he able to work.

Justice Malcolm Swift, who made the decision, said, “The plaintiff suffered a severe complicated brain injury requiring emergency neurosurgery and a frontal lobectomy, multiple lacerations and fractures to the facial bones, effective blindness in the right eye and reduced vision in the left eye.” His skull also had to be reconstructed.

Even though he made what the judge said was a remarkable recovery, considering the gravity of his injuries, the difficulties he faces and the life-changing effects of his injuries could not “be underestimated”.

Unable to manage his own affairs or make decisions impacting his own life, the man was vulnerable and depended heavily on his family, Justice Swift said. Although the defendants had tried to suggest that the man would not have had a high earning potential based on primary school reports, the judge based his potential earnings after assessing the man’s family, who he said were “hard-working members of the community”.

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Category: Courts, Health, health and safety, Local News

Comments (16)

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  1. frangipani says:

    I hope the proceeds are going to be properly administered otherwise predators will be waiting at the door and in no time we will hear that the funds have run out and next step would be Government dole.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to have to pay? A insurance company or a person who was at fault over the accident?

    • Anonymous says:

      Very happy for this family. There is no value that can be put on the loss they and the injured person has suffered.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lawyers take 30% ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems a little excessive. 6 million …….what was he a brain surgeon or something

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Some pay out.

    • Anonymous says:

      What???? Do the maths. 12 years old in 1998 makes him just 30 now. Not sure if his grave injuries also bring with it a significantly reduced life expectancy but lets say its based on 30 years. $170K per annum (forget the interest, inflation takes care of that – and more. ‘Unable to manage his own affairs…’ tells you something about how much support he is going to need. If the award pays for that for life then I guess it will do little more. If that is the case then earning potential arguments are irrelevant, he is getting no compensation per se.. just something to allow him to live.

  6. Anonymous says:

    About time. Realistic awards on their way to Cayman.

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