An appeal was today dismissed in Norris v Routley [2016] NSWCA 367. The appeal focused only on damages issues arising in a case under the Compensation to Relatives Act 1897 (NSW), with the claim having arisen from a negligent failure to refer for a liver transplant.

The discussion in the appeal judgment is mostly of interest for its references to assessment of the share of household income that would have been consumed by the appellant’s spouse but for his untimely death. Those assumptions were based on the standard consumption percentages set out in table 9.1 of Luntz’s Assessment of Damages for Personal Injury and Death (4th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2002)

It was contended that the further evidence established that the Luntz tables were based on out-of-date statistical data. The evidence included an affidavit of Professor Luntz to the effect that it is his intention to include revised percentages in the next edition of his book.

It appears that the revised percentages will show that as household income increases, the level of personal consumption of members of the household, as a percentage of the total, decreases.

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