the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Are questions of causation becoming increasingly contentious?

Have you found that questions of causation are becoming increasingly difficult or contentious? Causation is often a very knotty problem in theory, can take up a lot of time in preparation, during ADR, and at trial, but tends to be quite briskly dealt with by trial judges:  the medical evidence either supports it or not. Nonetheless the Claimants increasingly submit that the court should disca... [More]

Liability of Motor Insurers to Innocent Victims of Road Traffic Collisions

The scope of s. 151 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 was the subject of the judgment of Tugendhat J in the case of Bristol Alliance Limited Partnership v Williams (1) EUI Limited (2) [2011] EWHC Civ 1657 (QB), handed down last week.  In the early hours of 12 December 2008 a car driven by D1, Mr Williams, collided with the House of Fraser store in Cabot Circus, Bristol, causing in the region of &... [More]

Tripping trials and the opinion of the "perfectly sensible" witness.....

Those of you that have represented Highway Authorities in tripping trials may be pleased to read the judgment Kent County Council v Lawrence [2011] EWHC 1590 . I'm sure you have all experienced a trial (or two) where the judge has been very interested in the Claimant's personal view as to whether the defect was dangerous. Followed by the evidence of the 'neighbour', who ch... [More]

Warning - Potholes!

My morning commute was brightened up this morning by an article in the Metro, (the staple free newspaper for London commuters,) entitled “Motorists sign up to a pothole warning drive”. I think the last word of the title should have read “Sign”. The article focused on a triangular warning sign depicting a lopsided rear view of a car with one wheel down a pothole. It is sugge... [More]

Pushing at the boundaries of vicarious liability

The bare facts of Various Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and others [2010] EWCA Civ 1106 and the Court of Appeal’s decision have already been set out in an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010. Now in a recent case comment in the Journal of Professional Negligence entitled “Pushing at the boundaries of vicarious liability” (PN 2011 27(1) pp42-45), Paula Case analyses the j... [More]

Part 36... again

The Court of Appeal has overturned Warren J's decision in "C v D1 & D2". Question: was an offer headed "Offer to Settle under CPR Part 36" which was expressed to be "open for 21 days":- a) A time-limited offer and/or b) A Part 36 offer. The party making the offer argued it was a time-limited Part 36 offer. Warren J agreed it was time-limited, but held a time-limited offer was not a Part 36 off... [More]

Another reason to fear the dentist

Another example of a claimant in a clinical negligence case failing to prove causation (this time,  against a dentist who was alleged to have caused the onset of infective endocarditis). In what looks like an important judgment, the court found that the treatment was such as a reasonable body of dentists could have recommended, so that it satisfied the test in Bolam and was therefore non-negl... [More]


Don’t you love it when a judge mulls over two competing accident reconstruction reports, selects what he thinks is most probable, and then finds as a fact that that is how the accident happened….grrrrr.  Welcome to the fantasy land of the balance of probabilities. More...

The Fashion for Fraud

It is a fact of life for the personal injury lawyer that fraud will raise its ugly head from time to time whether one acts for claimants or defendants.  I have observed an interesting shift over the decade I have been in practice.  Ten years ago judges seemed not only uninterested in suggestions of fraud, but many appeared to find the concept positively distasteful.  I have had judg... [More]