the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Direct actions against foreign insurers in PI claims: the sting in the tail

Barristers and solicitors practising in the field of personal injury litigation arising from accidents abroad have, for some time, been comforted by the fact that - at least as far as EU member states are concerned - it is relatively easy to idenitfy a direct cause of action (under the relevant local law) against the tortious party's insurer, thereby permitting a claim to be brought in the Courts ... [More]

The global scope of employer's liability

    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 be easy to define, since the accident will have occurred on premises owned or controlled by the Defendant. In perhaps a minority of case... [More]

Adjusting the Ogden reduction factors to reflect a spectrum of disability

In the context of a claim for future loss of earnings, for a number of years the Courts have been grappling with the thorny issue of when it is appropriate to adjust the reduction factors (RF) in Ogden tables A to D (contingencies other than mortality) to reflect the particular circumstances of the claimant and the relative severity, or modesty, of their disability.  ... [More]

Service of supplementary witness statements in a post-Mitchell world

In many cases the Court orders parties simultaneously to exchange witness statements. The rationale is clear: sequential exchange may well give one party an unfair advantage in terms of the ability to tailor the content of their own statements in response to the statements served by the other side. The corollary of simultaneous exchange, however, is that one party will often seek to adduce a suppl... [More]

Redaction of expert reports

What is the position where a litigant instructs an expert to comment upon matters within their expertise and the expert, whilst producing an acceptable overall report, trespasses into areas which are the realm of the trial judge? Should the opposing party be allowed to strike-through and redact the offending passages so as to ensure that the judicial mind remains free and unpolluted by irrele... [More]

Can a Defendant be required to disclose information about its insurance position? A recent decision with a sting in the tail

Any practitioner who has had to grapple with the issue posed in the title to this article will have come to realise that there are two conflicting decisions on the point.       In Harcourt v Griffin (2007) EWHC 1500 (QB), liability was admitted in a multi-million pound personal injury claim. The claimants expressed doubts about the wealth of the Defendants and made a request unde... [More]

Failure to file costs budgets: a recent example in practice

Pursuant to CPR 3.12 and 3.13, unless the Court orders otherwise all parties (unless they are litigants in person) in a multi-track case commenced after 1st April 2013 must file and exchange costs budgets. The date for doing so will either be prescribed by the Notice of Proposed Allocation served by the Court pursuant to CPR 23(1) or, in the absence of a specific date, they must be exchanged ... [More]

Suitability and work equipment: a new test and an even greater burden on employers?

On 23rd April 2013 the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act received royal assent. One of the most controversial changes that it will introduce is an amendment to the Health and Safey at Work Act 1974, the effect of which will be to abolish civil liability for breach of the various ‘six pack’ regulations which govern employer’s liability. The regulations can still be relied upon ... [More]

A topsy-turvy world: foreign accidents, jurisdiction and Australian law

  Stylianou v Toyoshima (1) Suncorp Insurance (2) (2013) EWHC 2188 (QB) is the latest in a line of cases addressing the thorny issue of the English court's jurisdiction over accidents abroad. The facts read like a conflict of laws exam question: an English Claimant was injured by a Japanese defendant whilst on Holiday in Australia. The Defendant was insured by an Australian insurer: Suncorp.... [More]

Res Ipsa Loquitur: it's all just Latin to me...

  In recent years, the maxim of res ipsa loquitur has fallen out of fashion. Whether this reflects the more robust procedural rules governing disclosure (meaning that the cause of an accident can normally be ascertained) or the modern judicial dislike of distracting and potentially misleading latin epithets, is unclear. The low-point for the doctrine probably came in the judgment of Lord Just... [More]