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Watermans challenges the law’s stance on secondary victims on Hillsborough anniversary

23 April 2014 – PI Brief
24 April 2014 – The Times

On the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, 96 football fans died and a further 766 people were injured in the crush in the opening minutes of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Watermans’ managing director, Scott Whyte, was asked by PI Brief and The Times to comment on the significant differences in the way that awards for fatal injuries are dealt with in Scotland in comparison to England. He pointed out that in Scotland, family members of a deceased person are able to claim compensation for the death of a loved one without requiring to meet the very high legal test for being a secondary victim. In England, only a statutory award for a deceased’s spouse is available and even then, it is at a much lower level than what a spouse would expect to receive in Scotland. Scott concluded the Times article by “posing the question on many personal injury lawyers’ lips. ‘We have to ask the question as to whether the cases arising out of Hillsborough were properly decided given that many of them included references to reports and investigations which have now been shown to be fundamentally flawed at best or corrupt at worst.’”

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