In the case of McHugh v Ferol the Court was asked to accept that the value of the uplift for less dominant injuries can exceed the value of the award for the dominant injury. The Court in accepting the approach undertaken by Coffey J. in The Lipinski Judgement, noted that the guidelines do not provide advice as to the process a court should undertake when assessing the uplift to ensure that a claimant is fairly and justly compensated for additional pain and suffering. It noted that in reaching his decision in Lipinski that Coffey J. did not set out the process he arrived at to calculate the uplift of €25,000 in circumstances where the main injury attracted €35,000.

The Court held that the uplift could in fact exceed the amount awarded for the dominant injury.

““Uplift” simply means to raise. The rise in damages for pain and suffering arising from the non – dominant injury in any particular case, could well exceed the award of damages for the dominant or main injury. There is nothing in the Guidelines to suggest that the single uplift is restricted to a proportion of the damages awarded for the main injury. This Court can well envisage a circumstance in which a fair and proportionate uplift would exceed the general damages awarded for the dominant injury.”

For illustrative purposes the Court outlined how a claimant who suffered from multiple serious injuries would not be justly compensated if the uplift could not exceed the award for the dominant injury.

In the McHugh case, whilst the court accepted the principle that the uplift could exceed the award for the dominant injury it did not do so in the case at hand. Murphy J. assessed the value of the dominant Injury at €60000. She then sought to place a value on each of the less dominant injuries. The cumulative value of which was €65,000. The Judge settled on a figure for the uplift at half of the cumulative value, being €32,500.

“Taking into account the roll up factor and the overlap of injuries, the court considers that an uplift of €32,500, represents fair and just compensation for all the additional pain, discomfort and limitations arising from the plaintiff’s lesser injuries.”

The Judgement can be read here.