Mental Distress in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Cook v Swinfen
    • Court of Appeal
    • 30 Nov 1966

    In these circumstances I think that, just as in the law of tort, so also in the law of contract, damages can be recovered for nervous shock or anxiety state if it is a reasonably foreseeable consequence. It was so held in Groom v. crocker, 1939, 1 King's Bench, page 194, on the same lines as Addin v. Gramophone Company, 1909 Appeal Cases, page 488, Is it reasonably foreseeable that there may be an actual breakdown in health?

  • Jarvis v Swans Tours Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 Oct 1972

    In a proper case damages for mental distress can be recovered in contract, just as damages for shod: can be recovered in tort. One such case is a contract for a holiday, or any other contract to provide entertainment and enjoyment. If the contracting party breaks his contract, damages can be given for the disappointment, the distress, the upset and frustration caused by the breach.

  • R v Chan-Fook
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 22 Oct 1993

    Accordingly the phrase "actual bodily harm" is capable of include psychiatric injury. But it does not include mere emotions such as fear or distress nor panic nor does it include, as such, states of mind that are not themselves evidence of some identifiable clinical condition.

  • Watts v Morrow
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 Jul 1991

    But the rule is not absolute. Where the very object of a contract is to provide pleasure, relaxation, peace of mind or freedom from molestation, damages will be awarded if the fruit of the contract is not provided or if the contrary result is procured instead. If the law did not cater for this exceptional category of case it would be defective. A contract to survey the condition of a house for a prospective purchaser does not, however, fall within this exceptional category.

  • Richardson v Howie
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Aug 2004

    It is and must be accepted that at least in cases of assault and similar torts, it is appropriate to compensate for injury to feelings including the indignity, mental suffering, humiliation or distress that might be caused by such an attack, as well as anger or indignation arising from the circumstances of the attack.

  • Heywood v Wellers
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Nov 1975

    There is, I think, a clear distinction to be drawn between mental distress which is an incidental consequence to the client of the misconduct of litigation by his solicitor, on the one hand, and mental distress on the other hand which is the direct and inevitable consequence of the solicitor's negligent failure to obtain the very relief which it was the sole purpose of the litigation to secure. The first does not sound in damages: the second does.

  • Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No.2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 Dec 2002

    Subjective feelings of upset, frustration, worry, anxiety, mental distress, fear, grief, anguish, humiliation, unhappiness, stress, depression and so on and the degree of their intensity are incapable of objective proof or of measurement in monetary terms. Translating hurt feelings into hard currency is bound to be an artificial exercise.

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Legislation
  • Crime and Courts Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2013
    ......(c) section 54 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Court of Protection fees),. (d) section 58 of that Act ... be awarded against the defendant only to compensate for mental distress and not for purposes of punishment. . (3) In this section, "aggravated ......
  • The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2013
    ...... which improves, provides or replaces C’s impaired physical or mental function; and . (b) includes a prosthesis; . “assessment” means the ... “psychological distress” means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or an ......
  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
    ...... private sexual photographs or films with intent to cause distress; to amend the offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming; to ... individuals, including health care relating to physical health or mental health and health care provided for or in connection with the protection ......
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
    ...... person being a child, the person's family relationships, and any mental or physical illness) which may make the person more vulnerable than other ... 17(4) (witnesses eligible for assistance on grounds of fear or distress about testifying) for "section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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