Updated - Reaction to Lord Brodie decision on discount rate in personal injury cases

Woman getting advice from solicitor

UPDATE - Thursday 11th October

The Scotsman newspaper reports on yesterday's decision by Lord Brodie on the discount rate in personal injury cases.

The article, 'Payouts for serious injury 'in danger of running our early'' is online at http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/payouts-for-serious-injury-in-danger-of-running-out-early-1-2567685

Following yesterday's decision, Digby Brown's Moira Kay provided immediate reaction - please see below.

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Wednesday 10th October

Digby Brown reaction to Lord Brodie decision on discount rate in personal injury cases

ANTHONY STEPHEN TORTOLANO v OGILVIE CONSTRUCTION LIMITED, with Mr Tortolano being represented by Digby Brown Solicitors.

Arguments in the above case have been heard by Lord Brodie in the Court of Session as to a whether the case for a reduced discount rate when calculating future losses can be heard at proof in the case.

In his decision, Lord Brodie sided with the defender that a reduced rate can’t be applied. Following the ruling, Digby Brown sought and have been given leave to appeal the decision to the Inner House.

This landmark case surrounds a young man who acquired a brain injury after an accident in the workplace at the age of 19. If successful, his loss of future earnings and the cost of his future care and support will be in the millions of pounds and could be significantly affected by the rate applied.  For example, a rate of 0.5% opposed to the current 2.5% discounted rate would increase his damages for loss of future earnings by over £600,000.

The arguments surrounding this issue have significant implications for every pursuer in a personal injury case with a claim for future losses in Scotland.

Moira Kay, Partner in the Serious Injury Department of Digby Brown, said;

“We are very disappointed with the decision pronounced by Lord Brodie today.  The decision does not just affect Anthony Stephen Tortolano, but a whole class of pursuers in Scotland who have claims for future losses.  These pursuers will have suffered serious injury and may not be able to work in the future.  They might also require expensive care provision for the rest of the lives.  The discount rate of 2.5% was fixed in 2001. The economic world has changed since then.

Claimants are being forced to take risks with their investments in order to achieve the necessary returns needed to meet expenses as they arise.  Claimants are not in the same position as stock market investors.  The compensation awarded needs to last the rest of their lives.  We are appealing this decision.”