Client receives £82,500 for psychological harm

Our client was working on a construction site and was operating a large dumper truck. He began to reverse down a road when he accidentally hit another worker on the building site, sadly causing his death. He did not see this work colleague due to a faulty camera on the truck. Further, this worker should not have been in the area and no foot paths or traffic routes had been established on the site. As a result of the accident, Mr TCH suffered psychologically in the form of flashbacks, anxiety and panic attacks. He was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and underwent extensive psychological counselling and treatment. His condition has affected his ability to work.

This was an unusual case and the defendant alleged that Mr TCH was unable to claim as a secondary victim. However, arguments were advanced that our client fell within a limited exception to this rule under the case of Dooley v Cammell Laird & Co [1951] 1 Lloyds Rep 271 whereby it could be contended that he was a primary victim on the basis that the defendant’s negligence put him in a position where he caused the death of another, which has resulted in psychiatric harm. This argument was ultimately successful.

Our client received £82,500.