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The Osservatorio sulla Giustizia Civile (monitoring group about civil justice) at the Tribunal of Milan made public the 2018 edition of their “Tables for the assessment of non-pecuniary damages arising out of personal injuries and loss of parental relationship”.
The Tables are widely used by Tribunals all around Italy for the assessment of non-pecuniary damages.
Among the most interesting innovations we underline the following:
- values mentioned in the 2014 edition have been increased of 1,2 %
- a single figure is introduced, in order to assess the non-pecuniary standard damage arising out of the permanent damage to health, under all points of view and many distinct definitions (so called biological damage, moral damage, existential damage and so on)
- a single figure is introduced, also in order to assess the non-pecuniary standard damage arising out of the temporary damage to health
- values aimed at assessing the non-pecuniary standard damage arising out of the loss of parental relationship are also made consistent with the recent principles of joint assessment of non-pecuniary damage under all points of view.
On the occasion the Osservatorio sulla Giustizia Civile at the Tribunal of Milan also made public three further, innovative “Tables”, to be used in assessing distinct types of non-pecuniary damages, source of inequality and injustice bearing in mind that they are difficult to assess as a consequence of their own nature.
Among said new tables we remark the Tables aimed at assessing the so called “terminal” damage, namely the damage suffered by the victim of fatal injuries, when death does not occur immediately but after a certain period of time (also called “terminal biological damage”, “catastrophic moral damage”, “conscious agony damage”).
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The Corte di Cassazione (Italian Supreme Court) in a recent decision stated an important principle concerning the damage arising out of the loss of parental relationship. The Court clarified that compensation for this damage is due to the relatives of a deceased person also when they did not live together and they lived distant (even in different countries). The principle at law is that, in ordinary situations, the parental relationship itself allows to assume that the surviving relatives suffer for the loss, so that non-pecuniary damages can be awarded. The Court also confirms that the Defendant is always allowed to give evidence to the contrary.
Cass. Civ. Order n° 3767 of 15th February 2018
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The Corte di Cassazione (Italian Supreme Court) in a recent decision summarized the criteria to be used when assessing pecuniary damage suffered by relatives of an individual deceased in consequence of a third party unlawful act. The Court recalled that pecuniary damage arising out of loss of earnings can be assessed by way of capital amount or annuity. In case of assessment by way of capital amount the procedure to be followed is made of the following steps: i) assess the yearly earnings of the victim at the time of death, decreased of the sums presumably employed for personal needs, savings and taxes, ii) equitably increase said figure, in order to take into account the presumable increase of those earnings if the victim would have remained alive, iii) multiply the result so obtained by a coefficient adequate to take into account the future period of time during which the victim would have presumably offered his financial aid to his relatives.
Cass. Civ. Order n° 6619 of 16th March 2018
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The Corte di Cassazione (Italian Supreme Court) considered once again a debated issue: assessment of non-pecuniary damage arising out of injuries. In this recent decision the Court recalled that all prejudices arising out of the unlawful act must be compensated but also that the duplication obtained by giving distinct names to the same prejudice must be carefully avoided. In this respect the Court clarified that the so called “biological damage” and the so called “damage to personal relationship” are the same prejudice called with different names whilst the so called “moral damage” is a distinct kind of prejudice so that its assessment does not represent a duplication. Besides, the Court underlined that the so called “personalization” of the compensation awarded according to the Tables is not admitted when the consequences of a damage to health are the ordinary consequences that any person with the same disability would experience. It has been said that, in practice, the standard assessment of damages can be increased only when the claimant alleges and proves totally abnormal and unique consequences.
Cass. Civ. Order n° 7513 of 27th March 2018