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February 2015 Contents

Welcome to the February 2015 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
Investigating Liability And Causation - Andrew Mckie, Clerksroom
Chapter Four from the book 'RTA Personal Injury Claims Post Jackson: A Practical Guide' by Andrew Mckie. In 2001, there were 204,839 road traffic accidents in England and 9,499 road traffic accidents in Wales. This chapter aims to look at the various methods of investigating liability in road traffic accidents.
Jeyakanthan Rengasamy v Homebase Ltd (Lawtel, 23 January 2015, Knowles J) - Michele De Gregorio, Crown Office Chambers
Appeal against case management decision refusing permission for parties' engineering experts to give oral evidence at trial.
Downing v Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Damages and Costs - Harry Trusted, Outer Temple Chambers
This was case was heard by Sir David Eady at the High Court in London on October 21 - 24 2014. On December 2nd 2014, the judge heard submissions on various consequential matters and the Approved Judgment (to be cited as [2014] EWHC 4216 was...
Blankley v Central Manchester NHS [2015] EWCA Civ 18: A Narrow Issue? - Matthew Smith, Kings Chambers
The claimant was very seriously injured by the defendant's clinical negligence. Her capacity to litigate fluctuated. When she had capacity she agreed a CFA with her solicitors. She then lost capacity. On accepted authority, that loss of capacity immediately...
Quantum: General Damages, Common Heads of Loss in RTA Claims (Non-Vehicle Related Damages) and Avoiding Negligence Claims - Andrew Mckie, Clerksroom
Chapter Five from the book 'RTA Personal Injury Claims Post Jackson: A Practical Guide' by Andrew Mckie. With the introduction of the Low Value Portal, it has now become more important than ever for all fee earners to be able to value RTA claims up to and including £25,000 (the Portal Limit). This Chapter is designed to provide a straightforward guide to the starting points for valuing low to mid-range RTA claims.
Limitation in Contribution Claims - Andrew Roy, 12 Kings Bench Walk
Chief Constable of Hampshire v Southampton City Council [2014] EWCA Civ 1541. Court of Appeal Jackson, Patten and Lewison LJJ This case determined a short but important point as to when the limitation period runs (and therefore expires) in respect of...
Editorial: Online Dispute Resolution - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
In February 2015, the working party of the Civil Justice Council produced a report on Online Dispute Resolution ("ODR"). Their recommendation is to create an online court, instead of a physical court building, which will "hear" all civil...
Clause 561? Fundamentally Incompatible, I Say (and By The Way, the Supreme Court Agrees) - Steven Akerman, Brian Barr Solicitors
The full effect of the Jackson Reforms has yet to be fully realised in the personal injury sector. None the less, personal injury lawyers have to come to terms with another seismic change in the personal injury landscape. I refer to the provision in the...
Investigating Indemnity, The 1988 Road Traffic Act and Vicarious Liability - Andrew Mckie, Clerksroom
Chapter Six from the book 'RTA Personal Injury Claims Post Jackson: A Practical Guide' by Andrew Mckie. Indemnity is an important area of law for practitioners dealing with road traffic claims. Whilst this is an area of law often more relevant to those undertaking allegations of fraud work, it can also arise in the context of more straightforward road traffic claims.
Exploring the Employer/Employee Relationship - Geoff Owen, Parabis Group
A number of recent cases have explored the relationship between two parties to determine whether or not they were employer and employee. The test is usually relatively straightforward: was there in place a contract of service (employee) or a...
A Mistake on Mistake? - Paul Stanton
In Draper v Newport (2014) the question arose as to whether or not common law doctrines, and in this case specifically the doctrine of mistake, have any application in the MoJ protocol for low value personal injury claims (i.e.the Portal process)...
Personal Injury Case Review Scotland 2014: Part 1 - Douglas McGregor, Brodies LLP
The changes to be introduced by the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 have been making many of the personal injury headlines this year in Scotland and no doubt the reforms will also be the focus of attention over the next 12 months too...
Allergies, Chemical Sensitivity and Susceptibility - Alan Care, Thomson Snell & Passmore
The Bradford Hill criteria remain the starting point for any consideration of causation, be it legal or medical and scientific. It has long been said that law and medical science do not make happy bed fellows. How true this is. See the discussion in the Supreme Court's...
How to Avoid Professional Negligence in Personal Injury Work: A New Era of Meaningful Performance & Risk Management - Lesley Graves, Citadel Law
Almost two years since the introduction of LASPO, many claimant personal injury firms are exposing themselves to the considerable threat of professional negligence claims and rising professional indemnity insurance (PII) premiums...
Injuring the Already Injured - Dr Jock Mackenzie, Anthony Gold Solicitors
In Christine Reaney v (1) University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (2) Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWHC 3016 (QB), Foskett J. had to consider the extent that the consequences and their sequelae of admitted negligence had...
Measurable Goals - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
Following on from my article, talking about rehabilitation, measurable goals are becoming increasingly important. I've had a couple of experiences recently which suggest to me that we lawyers may not do enough to make sure the rehab unit sets...
Loss of Earnings in a Case Where the Claimant Was a Child When Injured - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
A claim made for loss of earnings when the claimant is a child is always problematic. There were several issues considered by Mr Justice Kenneth Parker in Tate -v- Ryder Holdings [2014] EWHC 4256(QB). Here we look at how the court approached...
Exploding the Myth of 'Compensation Culture' - John Spencer, Spencers Solicitors (President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
The term 'compensation culture' has been a favourite media buzzword in recent years with both journalists and politicians quick to point to a rise in spurious claims. It is my belief that an analysis of the facts show this phrase not only to be a misleading one but...
Railing Against Expanding Highway Authorities' Duties of Care - Andrew Spencer, 1 Chancery Lane
There is a very useful discussion in the recent case of Foulds v Devon County Council about the nature of a highway authority's common law duty to road users.
The Global Scope of Employer's Liability - Jack Harding, 1 Chancery Lane
It is trite law that an employer's duty to its employees is non-delegable. The duty is to take reasonable care to see that the employee is not exposed to unnecessary risk. In the vast majority of cases, the scope and content of this duty will...
Rehab Experts and Catastrophic Brain Injury - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
I had a consultation recently with a rehabilitation expert, which made me wonder whether we should make more use of them following catastrophic brain injury. Once out of acute care, there are so many choices to be made, and the...
An Analysis of Serious Psychological Injury Following UK Military Service - Rushmi Sethi
An analysis of serious psychological injury following UK military service at work with reference to case law, published journal articles, and medical evidence. Exposure to intense combat is among the most commonly associated traumas with PTSD...
Summary of Recent Cases, February 2015
Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month.
PI Practitioner, February 2015
Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area. This month: A number of liability decisions in clinical negligence actions were reported in January 2015
Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch
RTAs Involving Women in Pregnancy - Ms Nicole Hampton, Chartered Psychologist, Hugh Koch Associates LLP & Mr David Bird, Chartered Psychologist, Hugh Koch Associates LLP
On assessing women who were pregnant at the time of their road traffic accident, on face value, their symptoms can often seem disproportionate to the accident. However, in such cases, these individuals are not just worried about their own mortality, they are also worried about their unborn child. Even a minor accident can cause extreme anxiety due to, for example, seatbelt injury which, even at 10 MPH, is a much bigger issue for pregnant women...