Fatal accidents – damages for bereavement – rate of interest awarded at full judgment rate instead of 2 percent per annum
In a fatal accident action, at issue was whether the courts should continue to award interest at 2 percent per annum on damages for bereavement.
Held, ruling that the Court would break rank and depart from previous decisions on this issue. Interest on damages for bereavement was to be awarded at the full judgment rate of 8 percent per annum from the date of death until the date of judgment. The award was a statutory one created under the Fatal Accidents Ordinance (Cap. 22). One-off expenses such as funeral expenses attracted interest at the full judgment rate. The entitlement to damages for bereavement accrued at the time of death. The governing principle was that interest awarded on damages for personal injury or death was paid to a claimant for being kept out of the money which ought to have been paid to him.