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January 2014 Contents

Welcome to the January 2014 issue of PI Brief Update Law Journal. Click the relevant links below to read the articles and take the CPD quiz. Please remember to fill in our quick feedback form after you have finished.

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Personal Injury Articles
Low Velocity Impacts: An Update - Andrew Mckie, Clerksroom
This free article is an extract from the new book, 'RTA Allegations of Fraud in a Post-Jackson Era: The Handbook' by Andrew McKie. It is being published next month by Law Brief Publishing and can be pre-ordered direct from ourselves...
A Costs Budgeting Horror Story - Tom Gibson, Outer Temple Chambers
Would a district judge strike out a costs budget because it contained the phrase "[Statement of truth]", in square brackets, rather than the full statement of truth wording? Yes, in this particular case, so be warned!
Motorcyclists: Overtaking the Queue and Junctions, Jones v Lawton [2013] EWHC 4108 (QB) - Pankaj Madan, Exchange Chambers & 12 King's Bench Walk
It is indeed reassuring that despite the decisions of the Courts in relation to Civil Procedure, some cases at least are still making it to trial. One such little noticed case reported on 6th January 2014 is the decision of the High Court of Justice in Jones v Lawton which is a useful case for anybody advising in...
Woodland v Essex CC: Can the Duty of Care Owed to a Pupil by a School Be Delegated by the School to a Third Party? - Catherine Leech, Pannone LLP
Following a landmark decision in the Supreme Court, the extent to which a school can avoid liability to a pupil where third parties are involved has been determined. It is now clear a school authority has a duty of care to a pupil that is non-delegable - so if they contract out key services to third parties who are negligent...
Increased Success Fees, Belated Guidance: Hussain v Chartis Insurance Uk Ltd - PJ Kirby QC, Hardwicke
Cases involving pre 1 April 2013 CFAs will remain of importance for a few more years to come and maximising recovery under such CFAs must surely (if sometimes apologetically) be the aim of the receiving party's lawyers. This decision concerned an appeal against the cost judge's refusal to allow...
Smith v Secretary of State for the Environment and Climate Change: Guidance on Pre-Action Disclosure - Cathrine Grubb, Civitas Law
In the recent case of Smith v Secretary of State for the Environment and Climate Change the Court of Appeal provided clear and useful guidance on the correct approach to applications for pre-action disclosure under CPR r. 31.16.
Editorial: The Aftermath of Mitchell - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
A simple search on any database will reveal that, as all commentators predicted, the Court of Appeal decision in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1537 has already been cited by many Courts in rejecting various applications for relief from sanctions...
Everett v London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (2013) - Michael Mulcare, Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP
Medical causation became the key issue in this personal injury claim brought by a female fire-fighter, who was injured during a training drill whilst at work. Although the Defendant fire authority was held to be liable for her initial injuries, it was not found liable for her longer-term physical and mental symptoms.
Local Standards for Local People: the decision in Japp v Virgin Holidays Limited [2013] EWCA Civ 1371 - Sarah Prager, 1 Chancery Lane
Sarah Prager considers the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Japp v Virgin Holidays [2013] EWCA Civ 371 relating to the local standards defence in holiday claims.
Percy Leonard McDonald v (1) Department for Communities and Local Government; and (2) National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC [2013] EWCA Civ 1346 - Matthew White, St John's Chambers
Matthew White has recently succeeded in the Court of Appeal in a battle over exposure to a modest amount of asbestos in the 1950s. The Claimant (C) was employed by the predecessor in title of the First Defendant (D1) (the Department of Communities and Local Government, represented by Matthew White) between 1954 and 1959. In the course of that employment he was required to drive into...
Two Recent CFA Cases: Effect of a Failure to Serve a Notice of Funding and Powers of the Ombudsman - Thomas Crockett, 1 Chancery Lane
There have been two recent decisions concerning Conditional Fee Agreements which should be of interest to any practitioner practising in any area of the law where such funding arrangements are prevalent. The first is Harrision & Anor v Black Horse (20/12/13, Sen Cts Office per Maser Gordon-Saker)...
'Plebgate', Budgets, Relief From Sanctions and a New Kind of Justice - Ian Miller, 1 Chancery Lane
The Court of Appeal have now finally had their say on the Jackson Reforms: "...we hope that our decision will send out a clear message". The message is that a "new more robust approach..." has arrived. Failure to file a costs budget in time will result in parties being...
Severed Fingers and the Erra - Julie Carlisle, Boyes Turner
It was reported by the HSE on 6 January that a plastics firm has been fined after an employee had four fingers severed in a circular saw. He had stopped the machine to clear a blockage and the saw blade automatically moved from its operating position to its maintenance position...
All Change in Scotland for Civil Litigation Funding - David Armstrong, Brodies LLP
2014 may see the introduction of significant changes in Scotland both on how the civil courts operate and the manner and extent to which costs are recoverable in civil litigation. These changes are currently proposals detailed in two reports. The first is Lord Gill's Report of the Scottish Civil Court Review published...
Want to Live Longer... Move to Dorset! - Simon Readhead QC, 1 Chancery Lane
Dorset is the birthplace of Thomas Hardy. Hardy loved the Christmas season and his novels, short stories and poems are full of references to it. My favourite Hardy novel "Under the Greenwood Tree" begins on Christmas Eve...
The Icing on the Cake: Proximity Needed to Establish a Duty - Ivor Collett, 1 Chancery Lane
The Court of Appeal has just overturned a decision in which a surveyor was found jointly liable for personal injuries suffered by some members of the public who were struck by part of a shop sign which fell onto the pavement on Putney High Street...
Experts and Advocates - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
Sorting my last year's blogs, I see that I wrote quite a bit about experts - not surprising, as they are fundamentally important to the successful outcome of a case...
Mesothelioma Bill: Latest Comments on Today's Third Reading - Jamie Hanley, Pattinson & Brewer
Today, Parliament considers the third reading of the Mesothelioma Bill and so I thought it would be appropriate to update on my last comment, which coincided with the second reading of the Bill. I support this Bill. It originates from a consultation launched by the previous Labour Government and follows...
Road Traffic Accident Victims Have Their Say - Philip Waters, Your Legal Friend
This month we launched the UK Road Traffic Accidents: A Drivers' View' Report, which reveals, for the first time, UK drivers' perspective on road traffic accident claims. The report also researched how personal injury victims will be impacted by the proposed Government reform to increase the threshold for...
The True Cost of Change - Lianne Naughton, 7 Harrington Street Chambers
The year 2013 saw an amazing change in the legal landscape. Some might say for the better. Most would not. The introduction of the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2013 following Lord Justice Jackson's review of the Civil Procedure Rules swept in in April...
Soft Tissue Injuries and Their Consequences - Fiona Ashworth, Kings Chambers
In 2011/12 there were about 1,050,000 personal injury claims, 80% of which were Road Traffic Accidents. 90% of all RTA claims attracted damages of less than £10,000. These statistics confirm what personal injury practitioners know, namely that the vast majority of cases brought are in respect of...
When Defendants Treat Us Like Fools - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
Negotiation is a large part of what I do, and I'm always fascinated by the process. Training for personal injury barristers is limited, partly because our negotiations deal only with money. Generally, we can't construct a global deal which meets different expectations...
Summary of Recent Cases, January 2014
Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month.
PI Practitioner, January 2014
Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area. This month: Form N251 & the New Rule 3.9 CPR
Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch
The Psychological Impact of Trauma; It Needs Not Always Be Negative - Paul Elson
It is well-recognized in the field of personal injury that suffering from an accident or similarly traumatic event can lead to psychological problems. The symptoms suffered may be relatively mild and below the threshold for a clinically recognized psychological disorder-e.g. depressive disorder, specific phobia, adjustment disorder, etc-or they may be more severe and meet these criteria. In the latter scenario...