the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Go straight to gaol, do not pass go, do not collect £££

  Mr and Mrs Loveday were involved in a road traffic accident. They brought proceedings for personal injury and the insurers admitted liability. Surely this was just another straightforward case of assessing damages? Mr Loveday signed his witness statement which said he had suffered injuries, he could not work or drive, he was reliant on a wheelchair as he could hardly walk, he had to be care... [More]

When witnessing building work causes back pain.... Foreseeability and the tort of harassment

Ms Jones and Ms Lovegrove clearly had a very unpleasant few years living with the extensive and, for much of the time unauthorised, building works carried out by their neighbours, Mr and Mrs Ruth.  At trial the judge found in their favour in a claim brought against the Ruths in nuisance, trespass and harassment, awarding them a substantial sum in damages.  It was also contended on M... [More]

Slipping claim by pupil rejected by Court of Appeal

In the recent case of Hufton v Somerset County Council the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Ms Maddison Hufton, a former pupil at Ansford Community School in Castle Cary, against the dismissal of her claim for damages.  Ms Hufton suffered a knee injury when she slipped on a small area of water in the school assembly hall during breaktime.  The trial judge had concluded that a r... [More]

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]