piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Changes to the Spanish Baremo System

English lawyers familiar with the ECJ decision in Odenbreit and the inroads made into English law by the Rome II Regulation are also likely to have at least a passing acquaintance with the Spanish Baremo Rating System for the Assessment of Damages in personal injury claims. The system applies compulsorily in a road traffic accident context, but is characteristically applied (by analogy) by Spanish... [More]

Costs Budgeting: reforms on their way…

Jackson L.J. delivered a speech on costs budgeting on Wednesday. For many of us engaged in CCMCs who encounter inconsistency, courts overwhelmed by the volume of hearings, unnecessary costs incurred and often the thinly disguised frustration of judges with the process, his conclusion that ‘costs management works’, may come as a surprise. His proposals for reform, including fixed costs ... [More]

Insurers’ proposals for further reform to the PI sector

The Association of British Insurers' website recently set out its top 10 insurance and savings priorities for the next parliamentary session. The most striking of these for personal injury lawyers is the proposal for “Modernising the civil justice system to get compensation to claimants rather than lawyers.” The ABI fleshes this out by suggesting increasing the small claims track limit... [More]

Costs Budgeting - Time for change

Having at first hand experienced the heated battle of CCMCs, in which costs draftsmen and (usually) junior Counsel joust in front of a Master on the level of costs incurred thus far and those yet to come, it seems that change might be in the air. Lord Justice Jackson is preparing a speech / paper on costs budgeting, to be finalised by mid-May. He is looking, amongst other matters, at the circumsta... [More]

Negligence, false imprisonment and a surprising decision on contributory negligence: Liability of a taxi driver to a passenger detained in his vehicle injured jumping out

The case of Hicks v Young [2015] EWHC 1144 (QB) is extremely sad based, as the judge found, on a tragic misunderstanding between a taxi driver and his young passenger.  The taxi driver formed the view the claimant and his girlfriend were going to run off without paying so drove away from the claimant's home with him still in the vehicle, intending to "teach him a lesson".  The judge foun... [More]

New law - fundamental dishonesty in PI claims

The government brought into force last week a new law preventing claimants from recovering damages for personal injury when they have been fundamentally dishonest, unless it would cause substantial injustice. In the case of Summers v Fairclough Homes Ltd  [2012] UKSC 26 the claimant was injured in an accident at work and claimed more than £800,000 from his employer. Surveillance reveale... [More]

Personal Injury and the Party Manifestos

Is there anything in the parties' manifestos which might affect the field of personal injury? Reforms since 2010 include a new fixed costs regime, costs management/budgeting and greatly increased court fees. Civil liability has been removed for breaches of health and safety regulations. But what is being promised for the future? The Conservative Manifesto includes a pledge to reform human r... [More]

Employer not liable for employee killed in air disaster

Yesterday, Mr Justice Coulson delivered an extensive judgment in the case of Cassley and Others v GMP Securities Europe LLP & Sundance Resources Limited [2015] EWHC 722 (QB), in which he dismissed the claim for damages brought by the estate of the Deceased (James Cassley) against his employer (GMP) and its client (Sundance), an Australian mining company, who chartered the ill-fated flight. Thi... [More]

Local Standards: Don’t Let Them Cat-ch You Out

In Lougheed v On the Beach (2014) EWCA Civ 1538 the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the importance of the Claimant adducing evidence of local safety standards in the context of package holiday claims. The recent decision of the High Court of Northern Ireland in Kerr v Thomas Cook [2015] NIQB 9 provides a colourful (and not unamusing) example of the same principle being applied in a very different factu... [More]

Low cost Arbitration instead of expensive Civil Justice?

At a recent seminar a solicitor, with whom I was discussing the recent (rather extraordinary) hike in Court fees (see, Andrew Spencer's blog last week), mentioned an initiative which Andrew Ritchie QC has pioneered. Arising out of concerns about recent Government “reforms” to civil justice as these deal with personal injury litigation, the initiative is a proposal for personal injury a... [More]