Quantum: loss of earnings: special damages: medical practitioners: work pattern: reorganisation
Given the evidence before him, a judge was entitled to reach the conclusions he did.
Chang -v- Delgreco (2004)
CA (Thorpe LJ, Kay LJ, Wall LJ) 11/2/2004.
The claimant (C) appealed against the quantum of an award for loss of earnings. C had been involved in a road traffic accident following which the defendant (D) admitted liability. C had been a full-time medical practitioner. As a result of the accident he reduced his working hours so he spent three days per week at his practices and two dealing with administrative work, whereas previously he had spent five and a half days at the practices dealing with general medical work and writing medico-legal reports. C claimed that the expansion of his practices had slowed as a result of the accident causing a substantial loss in earning power. The judge found that: (i) after the accident C had reorganised his time in such a way as to be able to see as many patients in three days as he had seen in five and therefore held there had been no loss of income; and (ii) were C had used software to reduce the amount of time spent on preparing reports, C would have increased his turnover by 10 per cent had it not been for the accident, for which an award was made. C argued that the judge made findings of fact that should not properly have been made on the evidence he had heard.
HELD: In the circumstances, the judge was entitled to reach the conclusion he did. The issues of fact were for the judge to make and he reached conclusions that were open for him to reach.