HC Deb 22 April 2004 vol 420 c655W
Mr. Gordon Marsden

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the likely levels of compensation for deaths where the deceased has no dependants or access to conditional fee agreements by families pursuing negligence claims against NHS trusts. [166694]

Mr. Lammy

Where a person dies as a result of another' s negligence the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 primarily provides for compensation for the pecuniary losses of persons who were dependent on the deceased. The Act also enables the recovery of two other heads of damages, namely bereavement damages and reasonable funeral expenses. Bereavement damages are currently set at £10,000, and are available to the deceased's spouse, or if the deceased was under 18 and had never been married, to his or her parents. Access to a conditional fee agreement would have no bearing on the level of compensation awarded.