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Court of Appeal confirms general damages to increase by 10% from April 2013

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uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/simmons-v-castle

pdf” target=”_blank”>Simmons v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1039, an application to approve a settlement of an appeal in a personal injury action, to put in place a key element of the Jackson reforms

The ruling was handed down by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Maurice Kay, who is vice-president of the Court of Appeal

Lord Judge observed that the 10% increase in general damages was not included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 be

cause, as Lord Diplock said in Wright v British Railways Board [1983] 2 AC 773, the Court of Appeal is “generally speaking the tribunal best qualified to set guidelines for judges trying such actions”

Lord Judge said: “This court has not merely the power, but a positive duty, to monitor and where appropriate to alter, the guideline rates for general damages in personal injury actions

However, he said the 10% increase would apply to other tort claims as well, adding that not to give effect to Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendation would be “little short of a breach of faith”

He said early notice was being given to enable all parties engaged in or contemplating litigation to be aware of the impending change, and prepare accordingly

The 10% increase should apply to all cases where judgment is given after 1 April 2013

Lord Judge concluded: “We take this opportunity to declare that, with effect from 1 April 2013, the proper level of general damages for (i) pain, suffering and loss of amenity in respect of personal injury, (ii) nuisance, (iii) defamation and (iv) all other torts which cause suffering, inconvenience or distress to individuals, will be 10% higher than previously