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September 2015 Contents

Welcome to the September 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, September 2015
Philip Cavell v Transport for London [2015] EWHC 2283 (QB) - Diarmuid Laffan, One Crown Office Row
This recent interim judgment gives some interesting guidance as to the quality of explanation, and supportive evidence, that a Defendant will be expected to put forward when looking to resile from a pre-action admission of liability...
Collateral Damage - Liam Ryan, Ely Place Chambers
The case of Levi and Levi v Bates, Leeds United, Football Club Limited and Yorkshire Radio Limited [2015] EWCA Civ 206 is an exciting legal development in that it provides a strong indication from the Court of Appeal that (circumstances and facts permitting), the Courts are entitled to find that an individual who causes another psychiatric injury through an untargeted act of harassment can be liable for...
Secondary Victims: Are the Newly Restrictive Rules From the Court of Appeal Now Being Tightened Even Further? - Kirsten Wall, Leigh Day
The long awaited Court of Appeal case of Ronayne - v- Liverpool Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has, seemingly, made the restrictions on secondary victim claims set out by the House of Lords in Alcock - v- Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police even tighter...
Editorial: The Boundaries of the Fast Track - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
The dividing line between the small claims track and the fast track has obvious significance because of the markedly different costs regimes which apply. As awards for general damages are pushed upwards, due to inflation and due to the 10% uplift now often applicable pursuant to Simmons v Castle, one side effect is that more cases are driven into the fast track. In practice, where does the dividing line now fall?
Haven't We Dealt With All the Portal Issues Now? - Sarah Robson, Alpha Court Chambers
Many MOJ Portal issues have been resolved, and if you practice in this area of law you probably know the main 'ins and outs' of the Portal. We know it is a tightly bound, stand-alone code, and we know the Protocol is 'King', unlike most other protocols. We know you cannot...
Sherlock Holmes in the Court of Appeal - Roderick Abbott, 1 Chancery Lane
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" The Sign of Four begins with a bored Holmes mired in cocaine addiction, much to the disquiet of Dr Watson. A young woman appears. She has a mystery that needs solving...
Norovirus Claims: Are They Worth Pursuing? - Tina Patel, Leigh Day
Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK. It is highly contagious and transmitted by consumption of contaminated food or water, contact with contaminated surfaces or infected individuals...
Are There Discernable Trends in the RTA Claims Sector? - Ian Miller, 1 Chancery Lane
How effective have recent reforms been in reducing the number of road traffic injury claims and their associated costs? The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries reports there has been a slight rise in claims by 1.7% between 2013 and 2014 which is less than suggested by the portal where claims notifications are back to...
Breach of Statutory Duty After the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, A Scottish Decision: Daleks Are Not That Dangerous After All - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
The precise impact of the ERRA upon liability is still very much open to debate. Some guidance may be found in the Scottish case of Gilchrist -v- Asda Stores Ltd [2015] CSOH 17. A judgment of Lady Stacey where judgment was given on the 17th June 2015...
Damage to Chattels: No Room For Sentiment - Peter Harthan, 7 Harrington Street
The Claimant had been involved in quite a nasty crushing accident at work causing injury to the hand and fingers. Fortunately the main trauma was sustained on the ring finger and the Claimant's wedding ring prevented what would otherwise have been a complete severance of the finger...
When Your Spine Can Hold You Back: Spinal Infections - Bruno Gil & Raquel Siganporia, Bolt Burden Kemp
Over the last few years there have been several successful and highly-valued claims where patients have sued their doctors for failing to diagnose infections of the spine or failing to act promptly...
Costs Budgeting: Are Incurred Costs Untouchable? - Ian Miller, 1 Chancery Lane
How do you get around costs budgeting? One might have thought by incurring considerable costs before the CCMC: Practice direction 3E 7.4 states that the court may not approve costs incurred before the date of a budget. In CIP Properties Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure [2015] EWHC 481 Coulson J came up with an order which would...
Loss of Earnings for a Child Badly Injured at Birth: Another Example From the High Court - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
In HS -v- Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 1367 (QB) Mr Justice William Davis considered the claim for loss of earnings in a case where a claimant suffered a catastrophic head injury at birth.
Telematics - Peter Wilson, Park Square Barristers
Many vehicles are now fitted with tracking devices. Such devices allow the owner to locate the vehicle if it goes missing. In the past tracking devices were most often fitted to high value vehicles. Increasingly, however, tracking devices are being fitted to other vehicles such as fleet cars and hire cars. Some people agree to allow their motor insurer to fit a tracking device to their car so that...
Ignore Your Costs Budget at Your Peril! - Sharon Smith, John M Hayes
We suspect that there are not many who truly relish the whole notion of costs budgeting? But please fight the urge, once you have agreed your budget or had the court approve it, to bury it away in a dark cupboard and hope it will never see the light of day again!
Future Loss of Earnings at £1,446.431: A High Court Case Examined - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
Continuing with the practice of looking at judicial decisions in relation to loss of earnings we look at Siegel -v- Pummell [2014] EWHC 4309 (QB) where Mr Justice Wilkie considered a claim for loss of earnings where a high achieving IT Consultant...
Summary of Recent Cases, September 2015
Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month.
PI Practitioner, September 2015
Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area.  This month: Costs on the Small Claims Track: Unreasonable Behaviour
Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch
Assessing Psychological Trauma: Current Issues in 2015 - Dr Richard Cosway & Dr Hugh Koch
Guidance given for the instruction of experts to give evidence in civil claims clearly endorse the overriding duty of experts to help the court obtain evidence, which is independent, reasonable and fair. This is regardless of the pressures of litigation. To achieve this when assessing psychological trauma, several key factors require consideration in every case...
An Update from North of the Border, Edited by David Stihler, Brodies LLP
Scottish Civil Jury Trials to Be Allowed at the Sheriff Court Level: A Run Through of Recent Scottish Jury Awards - Lorne Todd, Brodies LLP
The All Scotland Personal Injury Court will open its doors in Edinburgh on 22 September 2015, dealing with many cases with a value up to £100,000 which would previously have been dealt with in the Court of Session. It brings with it the right to a Civil Jury Trial for the first time in a Sheriff Court and this article provides a quick run through of recent jury awards in Scotland...
An Update from North of the Border: Scottish Court Reforms To Take Effect From 22nd September - David Stihler, Brodies LLP
The Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, referred to by Lord Gill as "the single most important piece of legislation in the field of civil justice for over a century", is designed to maximise the efficiency and the output of the Scottish courts. Many of its key provisions will take effect from 22nd September 2015...
Book Reviews
Book Review: 'Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings' by Gregory Treverton-Jones QC, Alison Foster QC, Saima Hanif
Review by Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers.
Book Review: 'Clinical Negligence' Edited by Michael Powers QC & Anthony Barton (Bloomsbury Professional, Fifth Edition, 2015)
Review by Tim Kevan, co-editor, PIBULJ.COM.