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Personal injury

Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?

Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the defendant withdraw the earlier admission?

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Fatal accidents – bereavement damages

The CA has highlighted the need for change to Fatal Accidents Act 1976 insofar as it deals with the position of cohabitees. There are two points:

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Discount rate – change

We all know that the discount rate will be changed (to make it less generous). What has not been announced is when that change will come into effect – although there will be at least nine months’ warning. Having said that, it is likely that the new rate will immediately be taken into account by the courts as soon as it is announced.

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TUPE – tort liability?

When TUPE applies, is the ‘new’ employer liable for breaches of duty by the ‘old’ employer?

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MIB – ‘state emanation’

There has been an important ECJ decision holding that the MIB (in Ireland) is a ‘state emanation’. Previously, it had been held that the MIB was not an emanation of the state and thus not vicariously liable for the government’s failure to ensure the MIB complied with the European Motor Insurance Directives (which require states to set up bodies to compensate uninsured motorists).

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Judicial College – guidelines

OUP has now published the 14th edition of Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

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‘Fundamental dishonesty’ – credibility

The CA has held that a district judge was entitled to find a claimant ‘fundamentally dishonest’ despite that term not having been raised by the defendant.

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SRA – holiday sickness claims

All PI practitioners will be familiar with the SRA’s ‘advice’ on holiday sickness claims. While many will think that the SRA has gone too far with its veiled threats (and its clear determination that solicitors should discourage such claims) it is worth repeating one point in relation to social media evidence. The SRA says (not unreasonably) that it is ‘highly improper advice to clients to delete evidence’.

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Insurers – third parties

The Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 introduced a simplified procedure for those claiming against the insurer of an insolvent defendant. Under the 1930 Act a claimant had to (i) obtain judgment against the insured; (ii) then commence separate proceedings against the insurer; (iii) do so without knowing whether the insurer might have any indemnity defences (and without knowing the scope of cover); and (iv) if the defendant was a company, this meant having that dissolved company restored to the register of companies (so as to allow proceedings to be commenced).

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Informed consent – damages?

Suppose a doctor fails to obtain a patient’s informed consent to an operation; are damages recoverable for that failure to obtain consent (irrespective of any damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenity, and financial losses)?  

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