High Court makes key ruling in relation to CICA awards under the 1990 Scheme

News | Tue 21st Apr, 2015

The High Court today refused to overturn the way that the CICA assesses awards for the victims of crime under its 1990 Scheme in the case of LSX v Criminal Injury Compensation Authority. The effect is that although the scheme is meant to provide for full compensation, the award will run out half way through the Claimant’s life. The case was a judicial review heard by Mr Justice Jay at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

The Claimant suffered severe brain damage as a baby when he ingested his mother’s methadone at their home and is in need of life long care. The CICA had calculated his award by assessing a lump sum award for future losses with a 2.5% discount rate.

The claimant contended that the true discount rate, as the expert actuarial evidence of Mr Chris Daykin, the former Government Actuary, accepted by the CICA showed, should be 0% for RPI related items and minus 1.5% for earnings related items. This approach would be consistent with an earlier decision of the Privy Council called Helmot v Simon in a case from Guernsey where, as with the CICA, the highly contentious 2.5% discount rate set by the Lord Chancellor under the Damages Act 1996 does not apply.

The accepted evidence in the case showed that instead of the award lasting for the claimant’s lifetime, the award for his care would run out half way through his lifetime. It was contended, on is behalf, that this result does not provide the full compensation that the common law and the CICA Scheme requires.

Note: under later CICA Schemes awards have been capped at £500,000, but that does not apply to cases still being dealt with under the 1990 Scheme.

The court has yet to decide on whether an appeal to the Court of Appeal should be allowed.

Grahame Aldous QC and Laura Begley of 9 Gough Chambers acted for the Claimant instructed by Stuart Brazington of Withy King.

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