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December 2011 Summary


Industry News
Summary of Recent Cases - Substantive Law
Summary of Recent Cases - Costs
Summary of Recent Cases - Civil Procedure
PI Practitioner


Editorial: Basic Hire Rates - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers

Personal Injury Articles

Developments in Personal Injury Fraud Cases - Adam Gadd, Pump Court Chambers
This year has seen a number of decisions of the appellate courts regarding fraudulent, or allegedly fraudulent claims in personal injury cases. Typically, these have tended to arise around staged or invented road traffic accidents but there have been decisions that do not quite fit that mould.

Whiten v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2066 (QB): Part 1 - William Latimer-Sayer, Cloisters
It is rare for large quantum claims to fight to trial. These days the vast majority of cases settle at roundtable settlement meetings or by way of Part 36 offers being made. The costs risks are often too high to justify battling it out at trial, which is why it is of such interest when a case does fight all the way.

Credit Hire Articles

Bent: An Insurer Perspective - Gary Herring, Keoghs solicitors
The facts of the case are now reasonably well known. Darren Bent, an England footballer, hired an Aston Martin DB 9 from Accident Exchange as a replacement for his Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG Coupé which was damaged in an accident where he was not at fault in February 2007. He hired an Aston Martin DB9 from Accident Exchange for 94 days at the daily rate of £573.28 plus VAT, and brought a claim for the total of £63,406.90.

Bent: A Credit Hire Perspective - Steve Evans, Chief Executive of Accident Exchange
On 24 November, the Court of Appeal overruled the judgment handed down by Judge Plumstead in the matter of Darren Bent v Highways & Utilities Construction plc and Allianz Insurance plc in February 2011. In a victory for common sense, the presiding Lords provided clarity in a case which, they felt, allowed it to “review the basis upon which Courts determine the so-called 'spot rates' recoverable in this type of case.”

Local Authority Liability, Edited by Daniel Tobin, 12 King’s Bench Walk

Fernquest v City and County of Swansea, Court of Appeal - Tim Petts, 12 King's Bench Walk
On 2nd December 2011, the Court of Appeal (sitting in Cardiff Civil Justice Centre) allowed Swansea's appeal. Mr Justice Lloyd-Jones, giving the leading judgment with which Lord Justice Laws agreed, said that to hold bus companies liable would be...

Does a school owe its pupils a non-delegable duty of care? - Emily Gordon Walker, 12 King’s Bench Walk
Annie R. Woodland (by her litigation friend) v (1) The Swimming Teachers’ Association; (2) Beryl Stotford: (3) Deborah Maxwell; (4) Essex County Council and (5) Basildon District Council. [2011] EWHC 2631 (QB)

PI Travel Law, Edited by Katherine Deal, 3 Hare Court

Cruise Slips: Dawkins c Carnival Plc t/a P&O Cruises [2011] EWCA CIV 1237 - Howard Stevens, 3 Hare Court
The claimant appealed against the judgment of a Recorder, dismissing her claim for damages for personal injury. The claimant was a passenger on board a cruise ship operated by the defendant sailing in international waters. As she was walking through the ship’s restaurant she slipped on some...

Health & Safety Articles

Löfstedt: FOIL comment on the report - Don Clarke, President of Forum of Insurance Lawyers
If you’re looking for a view on the health and safety report recently published by Prof. Löfstedt you can pay your money and take your choice: for the Daily Telegraph it demonstrated that EU safety rules are “costly and pointless”; the TUC regretted the “missed opportunity” to improve safety; and the Forum for Private Business was pleased to see a “health and safety bonfire”. So what is the key message?

Löfstedt: Prolegal comment on the report - Susan Brown, Director and Head of Personal Injury and Professional Negligence, Prolegal
Professor Lofstedt’s report is in fact very sensible and measured, and certainly makes no concessions to tabloid hysteria about the horrors of “elf and safety” law. Professor Lofstedt confirms that there is no case for radically altering health and safety legislation, that the current regime places responsibility primarily on those who create the risks, enabling them to control them in a proportionate manner, and states that there is evidence to suggest that proportionate risk management can make good business sense. He considers that the problem lies less with the regulations themselves and more with the way they are interpreted and applied.

Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch

The medical notes say PTSD; the psychological expert says not - Dr Jacquie Hetherton
A common finding in psychological reports is for GP and therapy notes to diagnose PTSD but the expert does not...

Coronial Law Articles, Edited by Bridget Dolan, 3 Serjeants’ Inn

Who you gonna call?: challenging the coroner’s discretion to call witnesses in inquests into hospital deaths - Jemma Lee, Pupil Barrister, 3 Serjeants’ Inn
R (on the application of Carol Mack) v HM Coroner for Birmingham & Solihull [2011] EWCA Civ 712

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