The Italian Supreme Court (judgment no. 19376/12) has once again commented on the possible application of the so-called Milan tables of damage awards in awarding damages for non-economic losses.
The case at hand concerned the award of damages for losses suffered as a result of a car accident, in relation to which the trial judges had decided not to apply Milan tables of damage awards, leading to an appeal being lodged with the Italian Supreme Court by the victim.
The Supreme Court Judges overturned the trial court’s judgment, holding that, pursuant to article 3 of the Italian Constitution, there had to be uniformity of judgment in similar cases, so as to avoid different types of damages being awarded depending on which Court the action for damages was brought before. The Supreme Court noted that This Court has, in awarding non-economic damages in the past, already stated that – where there are no criteria established by law – the award of damages in an equitable manner pursuant to article 1226 of the Italian Civil Code must not only entail an adequate assessment of the circumstances of the case, but also a uniformity of judgment in the presence of cases that are similar. It is, in fact, intolerable and inequitable that different amount of damages may be awarded for losses which are identical in nature only on account of the fact that they are awarded by different judges. Such uniformity of treatment is guaranteed by the tables of damage awards prepared by the Court of Milan, since they are already widely available throughout Italy, which should be applied except in those situations in which there are specific appropriate circumstances that justify not applying them (cf Cass. civ. 7 June 2011, no. 12408; Cass. civ. Jun. 30, 2011, no. 14402).