Court rules brain-damaged claimant should not learn of £6.7m award

In the recently reported Court of Protection case DXW v PXL [2019] EWHC 2579 (QB) (04 October 2019) ‘P’ (the Patient) suffered a severe brain injury in the workplace.

Consequently, the evidence was clear that P lacked the capacity to manage his property and financial affairs. The court approved a settlement award for damages of over £6m.

In a case such as this, P would have to be notified and informed of his damages award regardless of his capacity. The carers and family objected to the disclosure of the application to the Court of Protection, as they stated he would be at risk if he knew of the extent of his award, as he would become more confused and vulnerable to the point that any attempts to rehabilitate him would be negated.

The court was concerned as to why P should not be informed, and required strict evidence to justify from departing from the general rules concerning notification.

In the end, the court accepted the arguments put forward that P’s rehabilitation would be impeded by any disclosure of the court proceedings, and dispensed with the process.

This flies in the face of the rules defined in the 2005 Mental Capacity Act, which requires (through the use of the word “must”) consideration of such wishes and feelings of P and challenges the Act, setting a precedent for further applications to be made without the need to disclose all information to P.


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