This decision is a helpful example of a global approach to the calculation of loss of earning capacity when a precise mathematical formula is not practical.
In this instance the plaintiff had returned to work as a local truck driver with a ‘sympathetic’ employer, but was precluded for a number of reasons, including personal, in engaging in interstate or long haul truck driving. The difference between was not precise, but on one version was in the order of $250.00.
On this basis the defendant proposed this amount after 5 years for 20 years, until 65 years, discounted on the usual basis, totalling $156,643.20.
The plaintiff proposed a range of calculations that went from a loss of $450 week ($235,000.00), $800 ($339,000.00), to scenarios of not working again after 10 years ($425,000.00) or after 5 years ($643,000.00).
His Honour Justice Byrne SJA concluded at paragraphs 115 & 116:
 There is no escaping a rough and ready assessment; but the exercise must reflect a substantial chance that, after age 50, the plaintiff may not work much if at all.  Approaching the matter globally, as both sides accept is inevitable, and discounting not only for present receipt but also for the usual sorts of vicissitudes, $300,000 is awarded for diminution in future earning capacity, to which should be added 9% for superannuation foregone.
Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack