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The multiplier

The multiplier is the number of years that the dependency may be expected to have lasted had the deceased continued to live.

The Ogden tables are the starting point. The multiplier is calculated from the date of death.

A discount must be made for the dependants’ receipt of a lump sum when calculating the multiplier, because of the accelerated benefit and further, the contingencies of life (for example, the possibility of a dependant dying prematurely). Tables providing for the appropriate discount to be applied now appear in the Ogden Tables so far as accelerated receipt and contingencies that may affect a working life are concerned.

The multiplier will vary by reference to a variety of factors including:

  • (a)     whether the deceased’s health was better or worse than average;
  • (b)     whether he came from exceptionally long-lived or short-lived stock;
  • (c)     for how long he was likely to work (the Court of Appeal has recognised that professional and business men should not necessarily be expected to retire before 70, and frequently later) etc.

Life expectation:

  • (a)     In addition to the Ogden tables the courts will allow the use of statistical tables when assessing life expectation.
  • (b)     The court will assume a life of average expectation unless the contrary is proved. The burden of proof is on the party who avers an other-than-average life expectation. In the absence of such evidence, the court could properly consider the life as average and assess it according to tables of average duration.
  • (c)     Recent judicial consideration suggests that the court will prefer life expectancy as determined by clinical assessment of the individual over a statistical approach based on cohort studies, at least as a starting point for determining life expectancy.  Where life expectancy has been agreed, the court will not allow for a judicial discount on the multiplier.
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