previously blogged on the case of Charlotte Shaw who sadly drowned while taking part in a Ten Tors expedition.  The claim failed as it was held that neither the school, nor supervising teacher, were in breach of their duty of care to Charlotte. " />

Loss of a loved one - should compensation always follow?

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I have read in the judgment today that Charlotte's mother claimed for personal injury arising in the form of chronic grief reaction and severe post-traumatic stress disorder following her daughter's death.   As administratrix of her daughter's estate, she also claimed compensation for the loss to the estate.

Had the claim succeeded Mrs Shaw would almost certainly have recovered damages for her own personal injury.  For a claim of this nature to succeed, the Court look at ties of love and affection.  There can be no question of the tie between mother and daughter. The Court also look at remoteness.  The mother did not see the accident - was it reasonable that she should be compensated for something that she did not see?  In  my opinion, most definitely.  The grief that a mother must feel at the loss of a child, particularly in such dreadful circumstances, is almost unquantifiable. 

I am truly sorry for Mrs Shaw and hope that she eventually comes to terms with her loss.  I am sorry too, that she has not been compensated.  But unfortunately, on this occasion it seems that this was a dreadful accident.  No one was particularly at fault and, as such, no-one is liable to pay compensation.

I know that this will be of no comfort to Mrs Shaw, but it is a sad fact of life that accidents do happen.

Deborah Blackmore

Chartered Legal Executive - Personal Injury team

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