When a claim for damages is made on the basis of ‘loss of a chance’, having good quality expert evidence is essential.
Most people know that it is possible to claim damages, where appropriate, for the loss of future earnings. Normally, such claims are calculated using projections based on past earnings from employment or the past performance of a business. However, it is much less widely known that such claims can, where there is sufficient evidence, include the projected loss of future income based on the expectation of increased earnings of the person or business.
For such a claim to be successful, there has to be good reason for the court to accept the projections regarding future increases in income and that, in turn, means assembling compelling evidence.
In a recent case, a claim was made against Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust for losses due to negligent medical treatment. The claim included damages for the loss of future earnings from a business which the claimant was about to launch, but which had not in fact commenced trading.
Despite there being no trading history, the court accepted that the business would have generated a seven-figure turnover within ten years and would have then been sold for a substantial sum. The court awarded the claimant more than £5 million in respect of the loss of future profits.