D v Donald

Decided 20 October 2000

Summary: Fatal accident, Dependency claims; loss of financial dependency, Fatal Accident Act, Personal Injury claims, Coroners Act, Inquest, verdict, fatal accident solicitors, personal injury, bereavement, loss of expectation of life, adultery.

The claimant claimed compensation through solicitors under the Fatal Accident Act due to the death of her husband following a road traffic accident. The husband was 25 years old at the time of the accident. The deceased was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal but was demoted shortly before the tragic road traffic accident. The deceased had also pursued an extra marital affaire.

The defendant’s solicitor argued that the award for dependency should reflect the facts, claiming that the deceased was a bad soldier and his infidelity weakened the stability of the marriage and thus reduce the future dependency award.

The court found that deceased career was secure and adopted a broad brush approach to uncertainties and allowed 75% of income to support the dependants and whilst the husband was unfaithful, there was a risk that the marriage would have failed. On this basis the court reduced the compensation multiplier under the Fatal Accident Act to reflect that risk on the facts of the case.

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Posted: July 23, 2008 at 9:27 am