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Law on Damages

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009


My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

We are today publishing the Government’s response to the consultation paper The Law on Damages, together with a summary of the responses to consultation.

The response paper indicates that changes will be made to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 to extend the categories of people eligible to claim damages for bereavement to include children under 18 for the death of a parent; cohabitants of at least two years’ duration for the death of a partner; and unmarried fathers with parental responsibility for the death of a child under 18.

The ability to claim as a dependant of the deceased person will also be extended to include any person who was being wholly or partly maintained by the deceased person immediately before the death.

The response paper also confirms our intention to make certain changes to the law in relation to damages for gratuitous care and on aggravated and restitutionary damages.

Copies of the Government’s response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and can be obtained on the Ministry’s website at