Category Archives: Personal Injuries

Simon Connell, ‘Justice for Victims of Injury: The Influence of New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Scheme on the Civil and Criminal Law’

Abstract New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme replaced compensatory damages for personal injury with a no-fault redistributive scheme. The central thesis of this article is that the scheme, and its influence on the civil and criminal law in New Zealand, can be better understood in terms of the interplay between corrective, retributive and distributive justice. The […]

Freckelton and Popa, “‘Recognisable Psychiatric Injury’ and Tortious Compensability for Pure Mental Harm Claims in Negligence: Saadati v Moorhead [2017] 1 SCR 543 (McLachlin CJ and Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Wagner, Gascon, Côté, Brown and Rowe JJ)”

Abstract Since at least 1970, one of the constraints upon compensability for pure mental harm at common law has been that a plaintiff must have suffered not just adverse psychological consequences from negligence but a ‘recognisable psychiatric illness’. In a powerful unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada in Saadati v Moorhead [2017] 1 SCR […]

Stephen Irwin, ‘Can compensation bring satisfaction? What do damages for personal injury represent?’

“There are two stimuli for this talk. Firstly, it is good, from time to time, to lift our heads above the detail, the practical administration of the law, and ask ourselves in a broader sense what we are about. The second stimulus came as I listened to a section of this lecture given last year […]

Pita Roycroft, ‘Wilkinson v Downton after Rhodes and its Future Viability in New Zealand’

Abstract This article analyses the tort in Wilkinson v Downton, commonly referred to as intentional infliction of emotional distress, in light of the United Kingdom Supreme Court’s decision in Rhodes v OPO. After considering the three base elements of the Rhodes Court’s newly reformulated tort, and giving a brief introduction to the New Zealand equivalent, […]

Civil Liability Bill – ‘a technical argument between the insurance lobbyists and the legal services lobbyists’

“This title was one MP’s description of the Bill’s provisions (the whiplash reforms, in the main) during yesterday’s long and highly polarised debates on report and third reading of the Bill. The Bill was passed without further amendment (save for a minor linguistic tweak by the Government) by a healthy Government majority of 56. It […]

Rob Heywood, ‘“If The Problem Persists, Come Back to See Me …” – An Empirical Study of Clinical Negligence Cases Against General Practitioners’

Abstract The law of negligence, as it applies to General Practitioners (GPs), is underexplored in the literature. There has been no substantial research undertaken that has penetrated deeper into claims that have actually reached court in order to analyse judicial reasoning pertaining to both breach of duty and causation. Given the increased pressures that GPs […]

Kathleen Renaud, ‘Apples to Oranges? Gendered Damages in Personal Injury Litigation: A Focus on Infant Claims’

Abstract For infant plaintiffs, personal injury litigation damage awards for loss of earning capacity are highly speculative. To quantify damages, courts rely on general population statistics and often consider the gender of the plaintiff. This article examines ways in which courts have discounted damages to minor female plaintiffs. The author notes that this discounting broadly […]

Jonathan Morgan, ‘Abolishing personal injuries law? A response to Lord Sumption’

Introduction Lord Sumption has frequently delivered speeches that provoke public debate. His 2017 lecture to the Personal Injuries Bar Association will surely do so too. Its very title, a ‘Project’ of “Abolishing Personal Injuries Law’, is incendiary. The provocation is welcome, and indeed overdue. As Lord Sumption observes, the high-water mark of reform came with […]

Jonathan Sumption, ‘Abolishing personal injuries law – a project’

Introduction It is now exactly twenty years since Patrick Atiyah published The Damages Lottery, one of the most eloquent polemics ever to be directed against a firmly entrenched principle of law. Professor Atiyah was concerned with the law of negligence generally. But his book has generally been treated as an attack on personal injuries law […]

Samuel Fresher, ‘Opioid Addiction Litigation and the Wrongful Conduct Rule’

Abstract The United States is facing an opioid addiction crisis. Can our civil courts help? This Comment explores obstacles to recovery for plaintiffs in tort suits against health care institutions and practitioners in opioid addiction litigation. It argues that defenses based on plaintiffs’ wrongful conduct, which deny plaintiffs access to civil remedies due to their […]