140K for loss of partner
The jury awarded Ms Anderson £140,000 for loss of society. The total amount of compensation awarded to Ms Anderson, the couple’s daughter and the deceased's father was in excess of £550,000. It is rumoured that the defending insurers could have settled the action for much less on the day.
The risks of litigation
The case illustrates the points that firstly, litigation, particularly before a jury is a risky business because you do not know and cannot control what they will award and secondly, that fatal damages awards by civil juries continue to grow and increasingly outstrip judge-based awards.
The value of life
This award (if it is not overturned on appeal) shows once again that a jury made up of members of the public will often place a greater value upon a life and relationship than a judge. This was highlighted several years ago in the case of Hamilton where we represented a widower and daughter where record jury awards were also made and the court recognised that Judges awards tended to be too low.
Watch this space for news of any appeal...