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Does the bell again toll for Smith v Manchester Awards?

In Sharma v Noon Products Ltd, 7th April 2011 (Unreported), Mr Sharma ("C") worked as an unqualified repair engineer at the Defendant's (D) factory. During repairs on a piece of machinery, the tip of his index finger was sliced off.

In Sharma v Noon Products Ltd, 7th April 2011 (Unreported), Mr Sharma ("C") worked as an unqualified repair engineer at the Defendant's (D) factory. During repairs on a piece of machinery, the tip of his index finger was sliced off. He also suffered from associated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After the accident, he was able to find new employment with commensurate earnings capacity.

D contended that if C was disabled, it was a 'technical' disability and therefore the "conventional approach" was to assess his future loss of earnings on the basis of Smith v Manchester. Further, D argued that as C did not have any ongoing loss of earnings the Court should make a Smith v Manchester award as use of the Ogden Tables, 6th Edition ("Ogden 6") would over-compensate C.

HHJ Yelton, affirmed that it was now accepted that use of Ogden 6 was the "conventional approach" for the assessment of future loss of earnings and rejected the use of Smith v Manchester. Further, in light of C's disability being relatively less serious than other hand injuries and C being in more secure employment, HHJ Yelton reduced the discount factor ascribed in Ogden 6 from the standard 0.4 to 0.6.

Elizabeth Dwomoh / 1st May 2011


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