The distinction between primary and secondary victims confirmed by Page v Smith has caused major problems in English psychiatric damage law. The House of Lords has suggested that the search for principle has been called off, and that the only sensible strategy is to say ‘thus far and no farther’. This paper suggests that one way forward is to recognise that it is not only persons who are physically proximate to an ‘accident’ who should be put in a special category: any case in which there is some sort of pre-existing relationship between claimant and defendant should be regarded as different from the standard secondary victim scenario. The relationship concept, first recognised in the USA and now adopted by the Court of Appeal, can be found in embryo form in the early cases.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|