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Personal injury

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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Res ipsa – clinical negligence

Res ipsa loquitor means ‘the thing speaks for itself’. In the PI world it has been applied to a wide range of cases, including objects falling from buildings, malfunctioning machines, collapsing cranes, and stones in buns.

The requirements for res ipsa to apply are:  

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Discrimination – civil courts

Most discrimination claims are heard in the ET (because they arise out of employment situations). But, discrimination claims against service providers, Ls, education establishments and associations are brought in the civil courts (county or High Court).  

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RTA insurance – fraud

Can an RTA insurer avoid liability to a third party because of fraud by the policy holder? The answer is ‘yes’ according to the CA’s interpretation of RTA 1988 in EUI [2012] and Sahin [2016]. In those cases it was held that the compensatory guarantee of RTA 1988 can even be circumvented by contractual exclusions and restrictions in cover.  

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Discount rate – next change

The discount rate was set at 2.5% in 2001, and remained at that level until it was lowered to -0.75% in February 2017. Because of complaints by the insurance industry, the Lord Chancellor is to change the approach that is taken when setting the discount rate.  

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RTA claims – no lawyers
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CFAs – no automatic 100% success fee
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In RTA claims, may firms routinely set a 100% success fee and claim the maximum limit of 25% of total damages. Read more...
T’s failure to respond – not a refusal of access
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The UT has held that T’s failure to reply to a letter from L requesting access to the property did not amount to a refusal of access. Read more...
MEES non-domestic rentals – reminder
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The MEES regulations are designed to tackle the least energy efficient properties in England and Wales and the Regs establish a minimum standard of EPC band E for domestic and non-domestic private... Read more...
‘Highway’ – no single meaning
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The SC has recently clarified the meaning of a highway. Read more...
Procedure – divorce
Thursday, 09 May 2019
Divorce practitioners may be particularly interested in the background to a recent case setting out the administrative processes and procedures by which errors in divorce proceedings are picked up... Read more...
EU citizens – right to work checks
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The government has issued guidance on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, after Brexit. Read more...

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