Decision made on loss of earnings for Ladbroke train crash victim

Insurers, believed to include AIG and Groupama, have won a landmark House of Lords of ruling against a rail accident victim’s right to claim compensation for loss of earnings while detained for manslaughter.

Kerrie Gray claimed his involvement in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash on 5 October 1999 had left him with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that led him to stab and kill 42-year-old welder John Boultwood in 2001.

After he was detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, Gray pursued a claim against rail operators Thames Trains and Network Rail Infrastructure.

He sought compensation for loss of earnings during his detention, general damages for the consequences of the killing and an indemnity against any claim brought by the dependants of his victim.

The rail operators accepted liability for Gray’s condition but denied claims for damages for manslaughter.

In June 2008, the Court of Appeal ruled against Gray’s right to claim for general damages but held that he was entitled to claim for loss of earnings.

But the Law Lords overturned that the ruling last Wednesday.