Violet Paterson and others v Lanarkshire Health Board [2023] CSOH 1

The case involved the death of a 35 year old mother of two as a result of negligence on the part of Lanarkshire Health Board.

In the Judgement, Lord Arthurson considered loss of society claims brought on the part of the deceased’s mother, children and siblings. Loss of society is a specific head of claim which is unique to Scots Law. It provides compensation to a deceased's relatives for the loss of that familial relationship.

The established facts of the case were the deceased’s two siblings had been estranged due to a family rift many years prior. It was clear from evidence led in the case that the deceased had a close and loving relationship with her children and mother prior to her death.

The Judge therefore awarded the mother of the deceased £100,000, the children £70,000 each and the estranged siblings £5,000 each.

This case demonstrates that when considering Loss of Society awards, the Court will look forensically at the relationship the deceased had with the surviving relative wishing to make a claim. The type of relationship the surviving relative had with the deceased prior to their death will have a direct impact on the quantification of any loss of society award.

The full judgement can be viewed here.


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