Courts do some weird things when making judgements, they’ll use past precedents and even occasionally as in admiralty courts use the judgement of other nations. Sometimes though they do something which produces a Gah!! moment. When a judgement they hand down seems very, very unfair.
A FATHER who lost his leg in a car smash was ordered to give more than half his £500,000 compensation payout to his ex-wife yesterday in a landmark court ruling.
Kevin Mansfield now faces having to sell his specially adapted bungalow in Chelmsford, Essex, in order to hand over the money.
The 41-year-old was awarded the £500,000 compensation in 1998, five years before he met his former wife Cathryn, after he lost his right leg as a student when hit by a car. He also suffered severe damage to his spinal cord.The couple married in 2003 and have two children together conceived through IVF but they divorced in 2008.
Now Mr Mansfield has been told to give his ex wife £285,000. Lawyers for Mrs Mansfield, 37, argued in the Court of Appeal that as soon as Mr Mansfield married and fathered twins Carys and Corben, now aged four, he could no longer regard the whole compensation payout as his alone.
Now of course I don’t know all the details and legal judgements often use weird and obscure criteria to come to their conclusions. However this compensation was awarded before his marriage and he used it to adapt his bungalow to meet his needs. He then marries and has kids via invitro, the marriage falls apart as these things sometimes do and next thing he knows is that his compo for his injuries is up for grabs. Apparently these things aren’t “ringfenced” although to my mind, they should be and the legal profession should have passed a judgement saying they were, but that’s just the common sense in me speaking.
Now I know the court has to take into account the needs of the children, however in this judgement they have severely inconvenienced the guy involved to the extent that he may not be able to cope with his injuries in a new environment (and the state may be dragged in to pay) I wouldn’t even have a problem with this if it had been lottery winnings or an inheritance, but it does strike me that compensation for injuries and living assistance perhaps should be out of bounds for the courts.