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Tort | Negligence

Remedies: Death

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Remedies: Death

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  • common law: tortious rights & liabilities extinguished on death (C or D)

Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934

  • S1(1): altered common law / allowing actions: behalf deceased C / against deceased D
  • S1(2): estate cannot recover: (a)(i): exemplary damages / (a)(ii): damages for loss of income
  • S1(2)(c): estate money received or spent / not taken into account / except funeral expenses
  • S1(4): creates cause of action: damage not occur until or after D's death / S1(1) cause of action must exist at time of D's death
  • recoverable damages: only arise during C's survival period / if C dies instantaneously: funeral expenses & property damaged in accident
  • if action brought by estate: damages awarded distributed to beneficiaries / under will or rules of intestacy

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

  • common law: no cause of action for dependants (Baker v Bolton (1808))
  • S1(1): new cause of action for dependants/ based on death not tort itself / condition: if deceased survived would have claim against D
  • S1(2): action for benefit: dependants of deceased
  • S1(3):dependant: (a): wife or husband or former / (aa): civil partner or former / (b): co-habitee: min 2yrs immediately before death / (c): parent or any ascendant / (d): person treated by deceased as parent / (e): child or any descendant / (f): step children by marriage / (ff): step children by civil partnership / (g): siblings, uncle or aunt or cousins
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Remedies: Death

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Fatal Accidents Act 1976


  • aim: compensate financial loss of deceased to dependants / future loss / multiplicand X multiplier = damages
  • multiplicand: net annual loss to dependant / wage earner: deceased's net annual wage / & other contributions (job perks & household jobs) / deductions: money deceased would spent on himself: 25% (married with dependent children) / 33% (no dependent children) / non wage earner: value of physical services rendered by deceased
  • multiplier: period of expected dependency / children: 18yrs (more: ft education or disabled) / spouses: retirement age (less: either ill) / converted Ogden tables
  • child: daily care instruction & affection / father loss earnings (Mehmet v Perry [1977])
  • single mum / aunt's loss of earnings (Cresswell v Eaton [1991])
  • orphan / aunt look after own child / multiplicand: cost employing nanny / multiplier: reduced as grows up (Spittle v Bunney [1988])
  • S3(1): single award /apportioned amongst dependants
  • S3(2): damages divided / court's directions
  • S3(3): no account: widow's re-marriage or marriage prospects
  • S3(4): co-habitee / award reduced / lack enforceable right for financial support
  • S3(5): damages for funeral expenses may be claimed
  • S4: estate benefits received / disregarded
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Remedies: Death

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Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Bereavement award

  • S1A(2): bereavement damages either: (a): spouse / (b)(i): parents of legitimate unmarried child / (b)(ii): mother of illegitimate unmarried child
  • S1A(3) : £10 000 / S1A(5): varied by SI
  • S1A(4): if awarded to both parents divided equally
  • £11 800: deaths on or after 1 jan 2008 (Damages for Bereavement (Variation of Sum) Order 2007) / £12 980: deaths on or after 1 apr 2013 (Damages for Bereavement (Variation of Sum) Order 2013)

Commencing a claim

  • S2(1): action may be brought by executor or administrator
  • S2(2): beneficiaries may bring action if: (a): no executor or administrator / (b): no action within 6 months of death by executor or administrator
  • S2(3): only one action permitted
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