- Dependency claim arising out of death of a successful businessman (Rix v Paramount Shopfitting Company)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Personal Injury analysis: Rix v Paramount (a fatal mesothelioma claim) is the latest case to consider the method of assessing loss of dependency under section 3 of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA 1976), arising out of the death of a successful businessman who was running a family firm as a limited company. The judgment provides an analysis of whether the continued success of the business after the death of Mr Rix was relevant, ie whether it could extinguish or reduce the dependency claim—as argued by the defendants. The court assessed whether the measure of the widow’s loss of dependency was the cost of replacing her husband’s services within the business, the loss of the couple’s share of the profits, or some other measure to reflect the fact that only a modest salary and dividends were drawn by Mr Rix prior to his death. The court also considered whether the conventional financial dependency figure of 33% should be deducted from the income or notional income figure, or a lower figure of 17.5% should be used to reflect Mr Rix’s frugal lifestyle. Finally, it held that Mr Rix would have continued to draw an income from the company even after he had retired. Written by Helen Childs, head of industrial disease at Royds Withy King.
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