The Court of Appeal has sunk the claim for damages for emotional distress made by a couple who were awarded damages after they cut short their £60,000 dream cruise, when it turned into a nightmare due to sickness and physical discomfort.
The couple abandoned the three-month cruise after only one month and then sued the cruise line, Cunard. The County Court awarded them £2,500 each for the diminution in value of the cruise and £7,500 each for distress and disappointment. The wife was also awarded £2,000 for wasted expenditure on new gowns.
The Court of Appeal considered that the claim relating to distress and disappointment was holed below the water line: the physical discomfort was ‘ephemeral’, and should not be equated with a psychiatric injury. The damages award was cut accordingly.