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March 2016 Contents

Welcome to the March 2016 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
Knauer v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 9: Case Commentary - William Mccormick QC & Liam Ryan, Ely Place Chambers
The Supreme Court on the 24th February 2016 handed down Judgment in the case of Knauer (Widower and Administrator of the Estate of Sally Ann Knauer) v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 9. The decision has caused a dramatic shift in the law relating to the calculation of claims under the Fatal Accident Act 1976 which practitioners need to be aware of...
Multipliers and Fatal Accident Claims: A Wrong Remedied by the Supreme Court - Harry Trusted, Outer Temple Chambers
Knauer v Ministry of Justice is a landmark Supreme Court decision. The speech of Lord Neuberger and Lady Hale (with which five other law lords concurred) finally laid the ghost of the earlier House of Lords decision in Cookson v Knowles [1979] AC 556 which had dictated the basis of fatal accident calculations for nearly forty years...
Adrianna Ramos v Oxford University NHS Trust - Matthew Smith, Kings Chambers
In Adrianna Ramos v Oxford University NHS Trust [2016] EWHC B4 (Costs) 2 February 2016, Master Leonard dealt with arguments about the reasonableness of additional liabilities incurred as a result of moving from Legal Aid to a CFA. This is one of a number of such cases. They are inevitably fact sensitive...
UK Insurance Limited v Thomas Holden [2016] EWHC 264 (QB) - Matthew Channon, University of Exeter
This potentially significant case in Motor Insurance and the interpretation of EU Law was heard before Judge Waksman QC in the High Court. The case concerned substantial damage in excess of £2 million, after a car, which was being repaired at the time, caught fire which spread to an adjoining property. The property insurers attempted to subrogate the claim to the motor insurers, who denied liability...
Turning the Tables in Fatal Accident Claims: Knauer v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 9 - Stephen Cottrell, Devereux Chambers
In a major victory for claimants, multipliers in fatal accident claims have been brought in line with personal injury and clinical negligence cases after The Supreme Court reversed a 37-year-old decision of the House of Lords. Lord Neuberger and Lady Hale gave the judgment of the court and stated that their Lordships 'had no hesitation' in deciding that the law had to be changed...
Knauer v Ministry of Justice: Supreme Court overrules Cookson v Knowles and Graham v Dodds - Christopher Sharp QC, St John's Chambers
Christopher Sharp QC explains why this decision marks a fundamental change in claims for future loss of dependency in fatal accident cases...
Editorial: Vicarious Liability for Assaults - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
In Mohamud v WM Morrisons Supermarkets Plc, the Claimant went into a petrol station, where he was verbally abused by the attendant who was employed by the Defendant. The employee followed him out of the shop and assaulted and battered him. There was some evidence that the employee's behaviour was racially motivated...
Updating the Package Travel Regime - Philip Mead, Old Square Chambers
Since the adoption of Directive 90/314/EEC over 25 years ago, the travel industry has been transformed both in terms of the availability of travel services and how consumers purchase those services. With these considerations in mind, the EU has updated the legislation governing package travel by the adoption of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending...
The Law of Vicarious Liability Is on the Move... and Hasn't Finished Moving Yet - Chris Rafferty, Zenith Chambers
"The law of vicarious liability is on the move", so began Lord Reed in his judgment in Cox -v- Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 10...
Court of Appeal Decides Part 36 Trumps Fixed Costs - Shirley Denyer, Shirley Denyer LLP & Knowledge Services Consultant for FOIL
Following a number of conflicting decisions across the country, the Court of Appeal has now settled the conflict between the rules on fixed costs and the rules under Part 36 which apply in circumstances where the claimant brings a claim under the RTA Portal process (to which fixed costs will apply) and then beats his or her own Part 36 offer...
Uninsured Drivers' Agreement 2015 - Andrew Baker, Horwich Farrelly Solicitors
On 3rd July 2015 the government and the MIB entered into a new Uninsured Drivers' Agreement ("the 2015 Agreement") which followed a previous consultation on updating both the 1999 Agreement (and also changes to the 2003 Untraced Drivers' Agreement). The 2015 Agreement will apply to any incident applying on or after 1st August 2015 (see Clause 2(1))...
The Root of the Issue: Highway Authority Has No Duty to Remove Moss and Algae From Its Footpaths - Jack Harding, 1 Chancery Lane
Does the duty to maintain the highway under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 extend to the removal of moss, algae and other equivalent substances from the footpaths and carriageway? This was the question which came before Haddon-Cave J in Rollinson v Dudley MBC (2015) EWHC 3330 (QB). The answer - a resounding 'no'...
A Scottish Invasion via Europe?: Low Value PI Claims, Forum Non Conveniens and Owusu - Adam Clemens, 7BR
With the EU referendum imminent, and Scottish devolution having been recently decided - although that wee beastie may yet come round again - enter stage right a case that had it all. In conjoined cases in the Court of Appeal1, Tesco and Virgin Media faced the argument that the application of European Law - Brussels Regulation 44/2011 - meant that English courts had no jurisdiction, based on...
The Employer's Duty: The Supreme Court States the Importance of Risk Assessments - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers & Hardwicke
In Kennedy -v- Cordia Services LLP [2016] UKSC 6 the Supreme Court allowed the appellant's appeal. The case related to Scottish law, however the principles are of general application. It raises interesting issues as to the relevance of...
What Is the Cost of Not Having an Expert Clinical Neuropsychologist Following a Mild Head Injury? - Dr Linda Monaci
The cost associated with specialist assessments needs to be proportional to the value of the claim. This in principle seems a sensible and fair concept; the difficulty is that brain injuries and their effects may not be as apparent as visible injuries, such as orthopaedic injuries. Paradoxically the same expert assessments that would be likely to increase the value of the claim, which would then allow for specialist assessments to take place, are not allowed in small and fast track claims. Experts are often instructed when a significant brain injury has been sustained, but what about...
Loss of Earnings After Leaving the Military: Murphy -v- Ministry of Defence - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers & Hardwicke
In Murphy -v- Ministry of Defence [2016] EWHC 3 (QB) HH Judge Coe QC (sitting as a judge of the High Court) considered damages for loss of earnings in the case of a 21 year old soldier who suffered injuries that caused him to leave the army...
Summary of Recent Cases, March 2016
Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month.
PI Practitioner, March 2016
Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area.  This month: Fixed Fee Medical Reports under the RTA Protocol
An Update from North of the Border, Edited by David Stihler, Brodies LLP
Update From North of the Border: Court Reforms - Sarah Donaldson, Brodies LLP
The pace of court reform continues north of the border. As you may be aware, as of 22 September 2015, there have been wholesale changes to the world of personal injury litigation in Scotland. On that date, the minimum level of damages that can be sought in the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, increased from £5000 to £100,000...
Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch
Failure to Seek Help for Post-Accident Psychological Problems: Does This Indicate the Absence of Disability? - Dr Jenny McGillion
GP and medical records are one of a number of key sources of information used by experts in establishing an opinion on the degree of psychological injury for civil litigation purposes. Asking claimants about post-accident GP attendances for psychological problems, and comparing claimant reports of GP attendance to the GP records, is one approach to checking the degree of psychological disability, as well as the claimant's credibility. However, it is...