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Damages law approved by Jersey States

The new law allows for changes to the way damages payments are assessed and awarded Credit: ITV Channel TV

The States of Jersey has approved the draft Damages Law, changing the way damages payments are assessed and awarded to those who suffer injuries that require long-term care.

The legislation follows a £238 million pound personal injury court case against the island's health department last summer, the largest personal injury claim in the British Isles ever to be submitted which was eventually settled out of court with an unknown sum.

In a review the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel said Jersey's Government should provide more detail in how personal injury lawsuits can be claimed.

The new law sets a statutory discount rate, which is used when determining damages that are awarded as a single lump sum. This rate takes into account the effect of inflation and investment return.

It also allows the court to pay damages through periodical payment orders, which can be made annually to cover care costs and lost earnings as they arise.

I am pleased this law has been approved by the States Assembly. On becoming Chief Minister I was absolutely committed to ensuring this critical legislation was delivered in the shortest possible time frame.

It will now provide a sound basis for setting a discount rate and for allowing periodic payment orders. We have acted in the public interest to reduce risk and uncertainty, while continuing to safeguard the needs of people who have suffered injury, by ensuring they receive full compensation.

– Senator John le Fondré, Jersey's Chief Minister