This site uses cookies.

Dishonest claim or dishonest claimant? The correct application of section 57: Michael v Hurford Ltd (t/a Rainbow) [2021] EWHC 2318 (QB) - Rochelle Powell, Temple Garden Chambers

24/08/21. The Claimant brought a successful claim for damages for personal injury arising out of a road traffic accident. However, it appeared that certain elements of the claim were pursued inaccurately on the claimant’s behalf. The Defendant appealed on the grounds that the Recorder had been wrong not to make a finding of fundamental dishonesty.

At first instance

Although dishonesty was not pleaded by the appellant, it was repeatedly put to the Claimant that he was dishonest and lying in his evidence and that some of the documents were fraudulent. In particular, there was a claim for 8 physiotherapy sessions at £100 per session in the particulars of claim. This head of loss was supported by documentary evidence consisting of an invoice and a 2 page report or summary which was accompanied by detailed notes of some 8 treatment sessions seemingly compiled by the physiotherapist. In cross-examination, the Claimant was asked about the physiotherapy treatment and confirmed he had attended only one session.

There were a number of other inconsistencies between the Claimant’s pleaded case and his evidence during cross-examination. The Recorder concluded that the Claimant was “clearly unfamiliar with parts of his witness statement… he gave the impression of really not knowing what day of the week it was sometimes. However he was able to give an account of certain other aspects.” The Recorder also noted that “in certain respects his [the Claimant’s] witness statement appears to have been filled in using phraseology with which he was unfamiliar…” He found that the Claimant’s oral evidence in cross-examination was honest and accurate and he was not “basically fraudulent”. Although his witness statement did not explain everything about the claim accurately and fairly, he happily volunteered information asked of him in cross-examination, including information that did not assist his claim – such as the fact he had...

Image ©iStockphoto.com/firebrandphotography

Read more (PIBULJ subscribers only)...

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.