Tortolano v Ogilvie Construction Ltd – [mobile working platform, fall] #damages #discount


[1] The pursuer in this action was born on 19 June 1989. On 21 November 2008 he was working in the course of his employment with the defenders as an apprentice plumber. He avers that on that date he suffered very serious injury as a result of an accident when the mobile working platform on which he was located toppled over causing him to fall a distance of about 4 metres. He blames the defenders for this accident and sues for damages in respect of common law negligence and breach of statutory duty. The heads of damage include continuing loss of earnings and the cost of future care and support. An eight day diet of proof has been fixed for 21 November 2012 and the subsequent days.

[2] The defenders propose to amend. Their minute of amendment was received by the court on 6 July 2012. The pursuer has taken advantage of the amendment process by, in his answers, increasing the sum sued for to £5,000,000 and including averments directed at the question of what is the appropriate discount rate to be adopted in determining the multipliers for the calculation of future losses and costs. The defenders now move to amend in terms of their minute of amendment and the pursuer’s answers but under deletion from the pursuer’s answers of the averments directed at the appropriate discount rate. Broadly the defenders objections are twofold: (1) the impugned averments come too late to allow the defenders to have any confidence in being able properly to meet them at a diet of proof fixed for 21 November 2012 which, at eight days, would probably be inadequate to accommodate this additional issue; and (2) they are in any event irrelevant.

[3] The pursuer seeks to insist on the inclusion of the impugned averments in the pleadings.