Knauer (Widower and Administrator of the Estate of Sally Ann Knauer) (Appellant) v Ministry of Justice (Respondent)

Frank Burton QC, Harry Steinberg and Niall Maclean of 12KBW are instructed by Charles Lucas and Marshall, Solicitors, to represent Mr Knauer in the Supreme Court on 28 January 2016.  The leapfrog appeal will be heard by a panel of 7: Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson and Lord Hodge


The appropriate date for the assessment of multipliers in claims for future loss under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976; whether the appropriate date is the date of death or the date of trial.


Between 1997 and 2007, Sally Knauer was employed as an administrator by Guy’s Marsh Prison in Dorset. During this employment she was exposed to asbestos and was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in March 2009. She died on 28 August 2009 at the age of 46, leaving behind her widower (the appellant) and three sons aged 16, 20 and 22. The appellant brought a claim against the respondent seeking damages under various heads. The respondent admitted liability and, on 19 December 2013, Master Eastman gave judgment by consent for damages to be assessed. Before Bean J, the appellant argued, inter alia, that in determining the damages to be awarded for income and services dependency under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, the multiplier for future loss should be assessed as at the date of trial rather than the date of death. This was rejected by Bean J who, nonetheless, gave permission to apply directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal on this issue.

Judgment appealed

[2014] EWHC 2553 (QB)