Skip to content


Bhupendra Muljibhai Shah Vs. Khan Transport Co. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 733 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1983Guj190; (1983)2GLR1011
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110B
AppellantBhupendra Muljibhai Shah
RespondentKhan Transport Co. and ors.
Appellant Advocate S.B. Vakil, Adv.
Respondent Advocate M.D. Pandya, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredRaja Vamshyam v. Joitaram Rawabhai Patel
Excerpt:
.....awards covering the head or pain, shock, and suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment of life in the cases of injured persons who suffer from epilepsy as well as some other permanent disablements. which are clearly much more serious than the one under consideration. we feel that there is no good rea- son to depart from the aforesaid principles. rajara's case (supra): we must also point out that in cases like the present, where the victim has suffered multiple injuries of very severe nature and who has been reduced to a miserable state of life, assessment of damages under the present head has to be made on an overall estimate of the scale of pain, suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment of life on account of the multiple injuries. it would be permissible, indeed necessary,..........not establishedon the balance 01 probabilities -possibility of further seizures - general damages awardednokes v. davies 5-318 page 33146.197231 5,250 agreed special damagesof 988male -carpenter - fractured skull with associated bilateral brain damage fractured jaw - developed post - traumatic epilepsy - no epileptic fits since about 7 months after accident - in early stages had two major fits - so long as continued with drues was im-likelyto have further fits for substantial award, but not on scale of those cases involving epilepsy which was notlikely to be lulty controllable in futurecrawford v. blofeld 3-401page 340124. the aforesaid table shows that epilepsy is regarded as a serious type of infirmity. even where medical evidence was conflicting and epilepsy had not been.....
Judgment:

R.J. Shah, J.

[Paras 1-22:--****]

23. The question that now arises is as to what could be awarded to the claimant on the count of pain, shock suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment of life, considering that in addition to his aforesaid functional disability found by Dr. Nagpal he has also a permanent disablement flowing from his brain injury as stated hereinabove. In this connection, no decision either of the Supreme Court or that of any other High Court of our country has been brought to our notice wherein a similar question had received attention. In the absence of the same, we will need to look into whether similar cases have been dealt with by English Courts. A scrutiny in this connection has shown that such questions have been dealt with by English Couris as per the following tabular statement:

Table showing relevant English awards covering the head or pain, shock, and suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment of life in the cases of injured persons who suffer from epilepsy as well as some other permanent disablements.

Sl. No.

Year of assessment

Age ofvictim at the date of accident

Awarded amount

Details regarding nature of injuries suffered

Remarks& Reference

1

2

3

4

5

6

All the cases from KEMP &KEMP; 'The Quantum of Damages' Vol. 2 Publication data Aug. 31, 1979

1.

1966

Exact agenot stated

8,000

Youngman, received head injury - after the injury headachesand two major blackouts - sedative drugs stopped the major blackouts and reduced the headaches - forgetful and also experiencing nonexistent unpleasant smells - 50/50 chance of major epilepsy developing - Trial Judge's award not inter-fered withby the Coun of Appeal

Hawkinsv new Mendip Engineer-ing Ltd. 3-312 page 3311

2.

1986

44

4.000

Male-Maintenance fitter- Fractured skull resulting In tendency to epilepsy - In hospital 3 weeks and off work about another month - 14 months later suffered major epileptic fit, later followed by another fit - If went off drags would cub risk offurther attacks -

Elderfleldv. Grit Abaters Ltd. 3-402Page 3401

3.

1968

28 or 24

13.000 including agreedspecialdamages of 1,000

Male,fork-lift truck driver - head injuries to both knees- either 2 or 4 years after the accidenthe began to suffer from major epilepticfits daring sleep - continued ever sincebnt with less frequency - per. manent pain in both knew -limitation of movement especially theright knee- held fit to do lightwork

Booth v.O' Hallorn 8-911 page 3311

4.

1969

21

6,000

Unmarriedwoman - bank clerk- sustained bead injuries- 6 days in hospital -Notlong afterwatds she suffered a major epileptic attack of the graud mal typewhich involved convulsions - followed by severallesser attacks - persistent headachtes- fits regarded as petitmal and not grand mal - Court of Appeal held, trial judge's award was clearlywithin the bracket

Jones v. Griffit-3-314 page 8318

5.

1979

Enact agenot stated

2,500

Healthyyoung woman - hit tier forehead on the dashboard of a car Evolvediii a motor accident - Unconsciousfor a short time immediately,afterwards - Developed headaches and dizziness - 5 monthsafter the accident became subject to minor seizures - Conflicting medical evidence-epilepsy not establishedon the balance 01 probabilities -possibility of further seizures - general damages awarded

Nokes v. Davies 5-318 page 3314

6.

1972

31

5,250 agreed special damagesof 988

Male -Carpenter - fractured skull with associated bilateral brain damage fractured jaw - developed post - traumatic epilepsy - no epileptic fits since about 7 months after accident - in early stages had two major fits - so long as continued with drues was im-likelyto have further fits for substantial award, but not On scale of those cases involving epilepsy which was notlikely to be lulty controllable in future

Crawford v. Blofeld 3-401page 3401

24. The aforesaid table shows that epilepsy is regarded as a serious type of infirmity. Even where medical evidence was conflicting and epilepsy had not been established on probabilities, 2,500 have been awarded considering the possibility of future seizures. As per the table, the range of damages is from 2,500 to 11,000 dependant upon the gravity and the frequency of attacks and the circumstances of the case. Age is also a relevant and material consideration. The table further reveals that when accompanied by another permanent disablement damages are awarded on a higher scale. 'Petit mal' and 'grand mal' are types of epileptic attacks which by and large have general recognition.

25. As observed hereinabove, great importance has been attached to this aspect of the matter and more than twice the conventional figure for the loss of a limb and nearly 4 times asmuch as the conventional figure for the loss of an eye has been awarded in such cases. A note of caution has also been struck that the ceiling figure could not be put above 10,000 or 11,000 and if one puts the ceiling figure much above the said figure one gets into the realm of awards for paraplegic cases; which are clearly much more serious than the one under consideration. We feel that there is no good rea- son to depart from the aforesaid principles. Further, as observed in Pravinchandra Jivraj, Mehta v. Lalbhai Melabhai Vasava (1982 Guj LH 940) by my brother Majmudar, J. speaking for the Division Bench consisting of P. D. Desai and S. B. Majmudar, JJ., it is true 'that the awards of English Courts cannot automatically be followed so far as this country is concerned, as it has an entirely different type of economy, mode of living of its people and standard of life. Still those English decisions give a general indication about the extent of damages which can be awarded with reference to serious brain injury coupled with the lingering physical effects left by them on the victims. The re'sume' of the English decisions shows that in England, damages are awarded on a very high and liberal scale in cases of loss of sense or faculty such as loss of memory and other side-effects resulting from such brain injury. Conversion from one currency into another may not be strictly relevant in the context of the point under consideration, having regard to the varying conditions in two countries. It might still be mentioned, however, that in terms of the rupee currency, an award in the sum of 6,100/- for loss of brain injury suffered by the injured claimant which had resulted in the loss of memory etc. would work up to Rs. 1,09,800/- taking the exchange rate of 1 = Rs. 18 which is the equation around which the exchange rate usually fluctuates'. Similar observations are to be found in the case of A. S. Rajara alias Raja Vamshyam v. Joitaram Rawabhai Patel (1982 (2) 23 Guj LR 29). My brother Majmudar, J. speaking for the Division Bench consisting of P. D. Desai and S. B. Majmudar, JJ. observed in A. S. Rajara's case (supra): 'We must also point out that in cases like the present, where the victim has suffered multiple injuries of very severe nature and who has been reduced to a miserable state of life, assessment of damages under the present head has to be made on an overall estimate of the scale of pain, suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment of life on account of the multiple injuries. In other words, aa integrated view of the totality of the after-effects of the manifold injuries must be taken so as to assess and award a lump-sum compensation for the pain and suffering, past, present and future, and for the lost pleasures and enjoyment of life. It would not be proper to individually assess damages under this head qua each injury and then to aggregate the same and make a cumulative award under this head. There is a great risk of duplication in segregating and separately assessing compensation for the pain and suffering and loss of amenities and enjoyment flowing out of each injury.

Only a total or overall view can insulate against overlapping. It would be permissible, indeed necessary, in some cases, however to view each injury and to assess the consequential deprivation and then to estimate the totality of suffering, pain and lost pleasures and comforts of life to arrive at a just compensation'. It does not seem that a better principle could be propounded in this connection. Taking all the aforesaid into consideration and considering the nature and extent of the permanent disablement suffered by the claimant together with the fact as admitted by the claimant himself that the frequency of such epileptic attacks has lessened, it would seem to us that the just compensation on the aforesaid count should be in the sum of Rs. 35,000/- and not Rupees 25,000/- as awarded by the Tribunal The claimant would therefore be entitled to an additional compensation in the sum of Rs. 10,000/- on this count.

Paras 26 to 34.:-- [* * * *]


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //