The question of whether a child claimant can receive earnings for the “lost years” when their life expectancy is reduced is a difficult one. It was considered by Mrs Justice Elizabeth Laing DBE in Totham -v- King’s College NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 97 (QB). At the moment the law on this issue is highly unsatisfactory, with the Court of Appeal agreeing that its own decisions are inconsistent with the House of Lords.
The claimant suffered serious brain injuries during her delivery in 2007. Liability was admitted. Some heads of damages were agreed. There was a three day hearing to consider the issues in dispute. One of the issues in dispute was earnings and, in particular, whether earnings could be paid for the “lost years”. That is the years the claimant would have worked, but because of reduced life expectancy, will not live through.
- A court…
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