Archived Legal Articles from 2017

Insurance

December

No Duty to Repair Uneven Driveway

19/12/17

Powell v Lancaster City Council The Claimant alleged that during the course of his employment as a paramedic he attended a property owned by the Defendant. It was dark and as he approached the property carrying a defibrillator he twisted his ankle on the driveway suffering a personal injury to…

Dishonest Claimant held in Contempt of Court

07/12/17

Advantage Insurance Ltd v Christopher Ewere (2017)QBD (Slade J) 16/11/2017 A person who falsely claimed to have been in a parked car when it was struck by another has been found in contempt of court. The defendant, Mr Ewere, brought a personal injury claim against the driver who bumped into…

Compelling Evidence in Support of McGeown Defence Sees Off Claim

07/12/17

A Claimant has been forced to discontinue her substantial claim for personal injury in the face of overwhelming evidence in support of a McGeown defence. The Claimant alleged that she slipped and fell on a slippery substance whilst walking on a footpath between a supermarket and a public car park…

Portal Costs - Failure to Submit the Correct CNF

07/12/17

Forbes successfully defended an attempt by Claimant solicitors to obtain more lucrative fixed costs after the matter fell out of the portal following a failure by the Claimant to submit the correct CNF. The Claimant was injured whilst working on a building site operated by the Defendant. The…

No Duty to Repair Uneven Driveway

07/12/17

Powell v Lancaster City Council Lancaster CC The Claimant alleged that during the course of his employment as a paramedic he attended a property owned by the Defendant. It was dark and as he approached the property carrying a defibrillator he twisted his ankle on the driveway suffering a…

Unmarried Partner wins the Right to Bereavement Damages

07/12/17

Smith v (1) Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (2) Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (3) Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWHC 2208 (QB) A woman has successfully fought for the right for unmarried persons to receive bereavement damages after her partner of 16 years died as a result…

Proportionality

07/12/17

BNM v MGN LTD (2017)[2017] EWCA Civ 1767 CA (Civ Div) In this anticipated Judgment the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Senior Costs Judge and confirmed that the old proportionality test applies to pre-commencement and recoverable additional liabilities. The Claimant had…

Court of Appeal Allows Transfer of CFA from one Law Firm to Another

07/12/17

Budana (Appellant) v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Respondent) & Law Society (Intervener) (2017)[2017] EWCA Civ 1980 The Court of Appeal has ruled that the transfer of a CFA entered into before 1 April 2013 from one law firm to another was valid and that the success fee was also…

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November

Claimant's Case Full of Holes

20/11/17

Westoby v Humber Bridge Board Derby County Court The claimant was walking in a Country Park when he allegedly tripped in a manmade hole and sustained a personal injury. The claimant alleged that there were five manmade holes that had been dug using spades and that these holes had rendered…

Claimants Blurred Account of Accident Fails to Convince the Court

20/11/17

Chapman v TMBC Manchester CC An elderly Claimant alleged that she tripped and fell on a defective kerb and sustained a personal injury. The Claimant provided photographs of measurements showing the difference in levels between the kerb and the pavement to be 30mm. It was argued that the…

No need to plead fundamental dishonesty for a finding to be made

20/11/17

In Howlett v (1) Davies (2) Ageas Insurance Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 1696 the Court of Appeal has found that the Court was entitled to make a finding of fundamental dishonesty even though dishonesty or fraud had not been specifically pleaded in the defence. Following a road traffic accident the…

HSE Waste & Recycling Inspection Campaign

20/11/17

The HSE have announced a programme of unannounced inspections to review health and safety standards in the waste and recycling sector. The HSE has highlighted the waste and recycling industry as a high risk priority sector. In the last five years there have been 39 fatalities to workers and 11…

Employer not Liable for Prank

20/11/17

The claimant brought a claim against her employer, the NHS, after sustaining an injury as a result of a 'prank' whilst at work. The claimant was injured when her colleague deliberately pulled her chair away as she sat down. The claimant claimed damages of £58,000 from Homerton…

No need to plead fundamental dishonesty for a finding to be made

07/11/17

In Howlett v (1) Davies (2) Ageas Insurance Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 1696 the Court of Appeal has found that the Court was entitled to make a finding of fundamental dishonesty even though dishonesty or fraud had not been specifically pleaded in the defence. Following a road traffic accident the…

No Fairy-tale ending for the Mickey Mouse Claimant

07/11/17

O'Brien v Conwy County Borough Council You may recall that we reported on this case earlier in the year. An audacious teaching assistant fabricated an injury at work so that that she could go on a family holiday to Disney World in Florida during school term time. After the claimant…

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October

Forbes Solicitors celebrates 44 Legal 500 Recommendations

19/10/17

Forbes Solicitors is celebrating after receiving 44 recommendations for its lawyers and services in the 2017 Legal 500 rankings, up from 31 in 2016. The leading North West legal firm is also delighted to reveal that the firm has been recommend for the first time for Education , Clinical Negligence…

Supreme Courts holds Local Authority Liable for Abuse in Foster Care

19/10/17

The Supreme Court finds local authority vicariously liable for abuse committed by foster parents in the 1980's. The claimant Natasha Armes was placed in the care of the Nottingham County Council from the age of 7. Between 1985 and 1988 she suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse whilst…

The 'Superb' Forbes Insurance Department Recognised Once Again by Legal 500

19/10/17

The Legal 500 has published its latest results and we are delighted to announce that the Insurance Department has been recognised for its 'superb service'. The Legal 500 praises the Forbes Insurance team for its substantial experience defending all types of claims and for working hard for…

What a Load of Bull?

17/10/17

Swan v Christopher Good t/a Nite Life Entertainments Kingston Upon Hull County Court - DJ Besford The Defendant was the owner of a rodeo bull ride which was hired by the Claimant for her daughter's birthday party. During the party, the Claimant decided to take a turn on the ride and fell…

Fright Night Claim Fails

17/10/17

Spencer v BB & B Leisure Parks Limited Leicester CC - HHJ McKenna The Claimant sought damages from the Defendant after injuring her back on a slide. The Claimant had attended the Defendant's premises in October 2013 to engage in a themed night known as "Fright Night". The…

Claim Full of Mysteries

17/10/17

Hothersall v Bury Council Manchester CC - HHJ Smith The trial of this multi-track highway claim left the judge rather bewildered after hearing two days of evidence. The elderly Claimant alleged that she tripped and fell over a water cover in the footway. The Claimant fractured her hip as a…

Fixed Costs Recommendations for Hearing Loss Claims Published

17/10/17

The Civil Justice Council has published a report making recommendations for fixed recoverable costs and improvements to claims management in noise-induced hearing loss cases. There has been a significant increase in the number of Noise-Induced Hearing loss claims which prompted the Government to…

Council Fined by ICO for Breaching Data Protection Rules

17/10/17

A Council has been fined by the Information Commissioners Office after falling foul of Data Protection rules. Nottinghamshire CC has been fined £70,000 after leaving vulnerable people's personal information online for five years. Nottinghamshire County Council unknowingly posted the…

New JC Guidelines Released

17/10/17

The latest edition of the JC Guidelines have now been published. The 14 th edition sees figures increased to reflect the general increase in inflation of 4.8%. On the whole, there are minimal changes to the latest edition. The main points to note are as follows: · Scarring - the…

Court Extends the Scope of Vicarious Liability to Independent Contractors

17/10/17

Various Claimants v Barclays Bank PLC (2017)[2017] EWHC 1929 (QB ) In Various Claimants v Barclays Bank plc [2017] EWHC 1929 (QB), 126 claimants brought a group claim against Barclays Bank for sexual abuse perpetrated during the course of mandatory pre-employment medical examinations. The…

Disciplinary Proceedings and Psychiatric Harm

17/10/17

Marsh v Ministry of Justice [2017] EWHC 1040 (QB). In January 2009, Mr Marsh, a Prison Officer, was accused by a female inmate of having committed sexual misconduct. He was investigated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) but they determined to take no further action. Later in 2009 however,…

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September

Risk of Ice does not put Local Authority in Breach of Highways Act

05/09/17

Harrison v East Riding of Yorkshire Council The claimant alleged that she was walking along a road when she came across water emerging from a drain and running alongside the road. Some of the water had frozen on the surface of the carriageway and the claimant slipped on the ice. The claimant…

Defendant not Liable for Accident Involving Refuse Vehicle

05/09/17

Peet v Wigan Council Wigan County Court - DJ Mornington The Claimant was involved in a serious accident when working as a refuse collector for the Defendant. The Claimant alleged that as he attempted to climb on to a stationary vehicle, he lost his footing and fell backwards onto the ground…

Landlord not Liable for Needle Stick Injury

05/09/17

James Walker v Thirteen Group Ltd Middlesborough County Court - Judge Ord The Claimant sustained a needle stick injury whilst decorating his step daughter's bathroom at premises let to her by the Defendant. The Claimant's hand came into contact with a hidden needle. Subsequently,…

Government Announces New Data Protection Bill

05/09/17

In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill to reflect the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation). According to the government, the Data Protection Bill will: · Make it simpler to…

QOCS & The Transitional Provision of CPR 47.17

05/09/17

In a Judgment handed down last week the Court of Appeal has sought to provide clarity on the transitional provision of CPR 44.17 in relation to Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) and pre-commencement funding arrangements. Following Jackson LJ's Review of Civil Litigation Costs the rules…

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August

Proposed Fixed Costs for Disrepair Claims

25/08/17

As you may be aware, in 2010 Lord Justice Jackson published his final report of his review of the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation. This report, amongst other things, introduced fixed costs for certain low value claims, in the area of personal injury and took many disrepair…

Fixed Recoverable Costs - A review of Lord Justice Jacksons proposed reforms

02/08/17

The much anticipated report of Lord Justice Jackson was finally released 31 July 2017, inevitably reigniting the longstanding debates amongst Civil Practitioners. The underlying objectives of the Jackson Report are to introduce more certainty, transparency and proportionality into Civil Litigation, in…

QOCS & The Transitional Provision of CPR 47.17

01/08/17

In a Judgment handed down last week the Court of Appeal has sought to provide clarity on the transitional provision of CPR 44.17 in relation to Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) and pre-commencement funding arrangements. Following Jackson LJ's Review of Civil Litigation Costs the rules…

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July

"Employers not Nursemaids"

27/07/17

Leicester County Court - February 2017 The Claimant worked as a warehouse operative for a retail company; he alleged that he sustained an injury to his hand when turning over a pallet which had been incorrectly stacked. He claimed that his colleagues had been trained not to leave pallets upside…

Health and Safety Fines on the Up

27/07/17

The Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guidelines have been in force for over a year and during that time we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the level of fines being imposed on organisations following breaches of health and safety…

Discount Rate Decision Imminent

24/07/17

It is expected that the government will make an announcement next month on whether it intends to revise the discount rate. The Law Gazette has reported that in a House of Lords debate last month, Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts said the Ministry of Justice will respond to its…

Stable Boy Loses Animals Act Appeal

13/07/17

David Lynch v Ed Walker Racing Ltd (2017)Qbd (Langstaff J) 15/06/2017 The claimant was a stable boy employed by the defendant. He had been riding a 2 year old colt called "Wolfofwallstreet" in a string of nine race horses along a track beside a road. The horses became spooked causing the…

CPR 44.15 - The Lesser Used QOCS Exception

06/07/17

Walmsley v Wigan Council The Claimant alleged that he tripped in a defect on a pavement sustaining personal injury. A breach of duty was admitted with the Claimant put to strict proof as to causation, both factual and medical, with various concerns raised as to the Claimant's veracity.…

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June

Retail Manual Lifting Claim Fails

30/06/17

Matthews v The Co-operative Group The Claimant was employed by the Defendant as a retail assistant. She alleged that she sustained an injury when attempting to lift a box of milk from the bottom of a cage. She claimed that the box had been incorrectly loaded and was therefore wedged into the…

Court of Appeal Dismisses DPA Handrail Case

30/06/17

Megan Louise Dodd (Widow & Executrix f The Estate Of Paul James Dodd, Deceased) v Raebarn Estates Ltd & 5 Ors (2017) [2017] EWCA Civ 439 CA (Civ Div) (McFarlane LJ, Lewison LJ, McCombe LJ) 21/06/2017 In this matter the Court of Appeal considered whether a freeholder was in breach of its…

Council Fined for Publishing Sensitive Data in Online Planning Documents

30/06/17

A local authority has been fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for publishing sensitive personal information about a family in Online Planning Documents. Basildon Borough Council breached the Data Protection Act when it published a statement supporting a…

Forbes Wins Defendant Insurance Law Firm of the Year

21/06/17

Forbes Solicitors is proud to announce our recognition as Defendant Law Firm of the year at the Claims Management Awards 2017. The awards aim to celebrate achievements and progress made by the leading professionals in the claims sector. Forbes was recognised for its tenacious Fraud team and its…

Claimant has the rug pulled from under the claim

12/06/17

Potter v Co-operative Group The claimant alleged that she tripped on a mat whilst exiting the defendant's store premises and fell face first into a metal fence outside of the main doors of the store. The claimant alleged that she suffered personal injuries as a result. The defendant denied…

Claimant found fundamentally dishonest following causation only trial

12/06/17

Owing to the stark and glaring inconsistencies in the claimant's witness evidence at trial, Forbes on behalf of the defendant took the unusual step of seeking a finding of fundamental dishonesty following the dismissal of this claim for personal injury. The claimant brought a claim for personal…

School Trips

12/06/17

In another tragic case at a theme park, a young girl lost her life whilst riding on a water ride at Drayton Manor. The girl was on a school trip when she fell from the ride. This tragedy brings to the fore the importance of ensuring appropriate health and safety considerations are made before and…

The Not So Sweet Child of Mine

12/06/17

Network Rail v Dermody & Anor (2016) [2016] EWHC 2060 (QB) QBD (Edis J) 19/07/2016 A former employee of Network Rail was found in contempt of court and sentenced to three months in prison after fabricating the extent of his injuries following an accident at work. The claimant alleged that…

The Invasion of the Japanese Knotweed Claim

12/06/17

The mere mention of Japanese Knotweed is enough to strike fear in the heart of any seasoned gardener. This invasive bamboo-like plant spreads rapidly, suppresses the growth of other plants and can potentially threaten property foundations. The first reported legal case involving knotweed emerged last…

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May

A Mickey Mouse Claim

19/05/17

O'Brien v Conwy County Borough Council An audacious claimant who allegedly fell in the course of her employment as a teaching assistant has discontinued her claim shortly before trial. The claimant alleged that she had slipped on a piece of discarded fruit sustaining a soft tissue…

Forbes Announces Promotions

18/05/17

Forbes Solicitors has announced the appointment of four new Partners and four new Associates as part of its continued growth. The largest legal practice in the North West outside the major cities has promoted Lucy Harris, Rubina Vohra, Judith Bloor and Patricia Prescott to Partners from Associates…

Forbes Shortlisted for the Claims Management Awards

17/05/17

We are pleased to announce that the Forbes Insurance Department has been shortlisted for the prestigious Claims Management Awards in the strongly contended category of Defendant Law Firm of the year for work in fraud and social care. The Claims Management Awards celebrate the achievements and…

Cycling Claim fails at Trial

15/05/17

Newton v Trafford BC The Claimant alleged his bicycle wheel came into contact with a depression in the road next to a speed bump causing him to fall from his bike and to sustain injury. The Claimant argued that the defect was dangerous, and contended that the Defendant was in breach of its…

It's a small world after all!

15/05/17

Victoria Reis v The Co-operative Group The claimant in this matter was forced to discontinue her claim after investigations confirmed that she was closely linked to a supposedly independent witness. In 2014 the defendant's driver was involved in a road traffic accident. The claimant…

Supreme Court supports assignment of CFAs

15/05/17

In the case of Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Limited [2017] the Supreme Court has upheld the recoverability of the Claimant's success fee and a 'top up' ATE premium where the CFA had been assigned between solicitors and extended post 1 April 2013 to cover appeals The Defendant…

Prisons and Courts Bill abandoned

15/05/17

It has been confirmed that the Prisons and Courts Bill has been abandoned by the government following the announcement of the snap general election by Teresa May on the 8 th June 2017. David Lidington, the Leader of the House of Commons, confirmed that the Bill had been scrapped and would not be rushed…

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April

Rumbled Claimant Fundamentally Dishonest

26/04/17

Bennett v Newcastle City Council Forbes has secured another finding of fundamental dishonesty this week after a claimant who had allegedly tripped and sustained an ankle fracture on the highway discontinued his claim against Newcastle City Council. The defendant put pressure on the…

Evidence from Local Witnesses Undermined

07/04/17

Bower v Bolton Council Bolton CC - DJ Evans The Claimant alleged he tripped and fell on a pothole next to a drain whilst walking his dog. The Claimant suffered a personal injury and brought a claim against the local authority. The Claimant's case was that the defect had been missed on…

No Liability Where Claimant Cannot Identify Defect

07/04/17

Barnes v Warrington BC St Helen's County Court - DDJ Maddison The Claimant alleged that upon exiting her vehicle in the school car park she caught her foot in a pot hole, tripped and fell. The Defendant denied liability and put the Claimant to strict proof as to her reason for being…

Three Yearly Tree Inspection Policy deemed Negligent by Court

07/04/17

Cavanagh v (1) Witley Parish Council (2) D Kevin Shepherd (T/A Shepherd Tree Surgeons & Forestry Contractors) (2017) A parish council has been found negligent in adopting a three-year cycle for its inspection of trees on its land. The claimant sought damages for severe personal injuries…

Guidance Document to Supplement New Highways Code of Practice Released

07/04/17

The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) have launched a revised guidance document on Highway Risk and Liability titled "Well Managed Highway Liability Risk". Following the publication of the UKRLG Code of Practice document "Well-m m anaged Highway Infrastructure", the IHE was…

Discount Rate - the Aftermath

07/04/17

Last month, Liz Truss took the surprising step of reducing the discount rate from 2.5% downwards to -0.75%. Lowering the rate to -0.75% means the cost of paying for lump sum personal injury compensation will significantly increase. Future settlements are likely to be double or even treble in value…

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March

Guidance Document to Supplement New Highways Code of Practice Released

15/03/17

The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) have today launched a revised guidance document on Highway Risk and Liability titled "Well-managed Highway Liability Risk". Following the publication of the UKRLG Code of Practice document "Well-managed Highway Infrastructure", the IHE…

Sign Your Claim Away

15/03/17

Brown v Calderdale The Claimant made a claim against the local authority after allegedly sustaining personal injury. Breach of statutory duty was conceded and the claim was issued as causation was in issue. Serious concerns were however raised upon receipt of the claim for Special Damages. The…

The HSE are on a roll!

02/03/17

Following the introduction of the new Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines, the HSE has handed out another large fine, this time to Warburtons Limited. The company was fined £2million after a worker was hospitalised following a fall from height. The worker was seriously injured whilst…

88th CPR Update - What to expect

02/03/17

As tradition dictates, every April the CPR is amended and this year is no exception. There are a number of noteworthy amendments which will come into force on 6 April 2017. The following changes are to be made: · Payment and refund of court fees for hearings. Court fees will…

Supermarket not liable for Point of Sale Display

02/03/17

The Claimant was shopping in a supermarket and cut his hand on the top of a mobile free standing ladder rack display stand. As he reached up to the top shelf, he brought his hand back down on to the stand and in doing so suffered a laceration to the back of his hand. The question before the Court…

Local Authority not liable for collapse of four properties

02/03/17

Lyons v Pendle Borough Council Preston County Court - January 2017 The Claimant was the owner of an end terraced house in Nelson and the Defendant the owner of 3 unoccupied, derelict properties on the same row. In 2013 the roof structure of all four properties collapsed, leaving them unsafe…

Defendant One Step Ahead

02/03/17

Jacobs v Symphony Housing Group Liverpool County Court - January 2017 The Claimant alleged she sustained an injury after slipping on pooled water and catching her foot on the lip of the top step of a communal entrance. The communal steps gave access to the flat owned by the Claimant. It…

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February

Discount rate changed to MINUS 0.75%

28/02/17

In a surprise step, the Government has today announced changes to personal injury compensation payments. The Discount Rate will be lowered from 2.5% downwards to -0.75%. Previously, the Discount Rate had remain unchanged since 2001. Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "…

PI Reforms Announced - Small Claims Limit to be increased

28/02/17

The Ministry of Justice has published part one of its response to the 'Reforming the soft tissue injury ('whiplash') claims process' consultation. Small Claims Track The small claims track will be increased from £1,000 to £5,000 for minor RTA soft tissue related…

Fourteen Year Old Girl Wins Claim after Falling from Ex- Race Horse

15/02/17

Harris v Miller 2016 EWHC 2438 (QB) The Claimant, then just 14 years of age, fell from a horse which she was riding, and sustained paraplegic life changing injuries. The horse belonged to the Defendant who had recently bought the animal having chosen to take up horse riding as a hobby. An…

Post-Portal PADs: The Court of Appeal ends the Costs Debate

07/02/17

Caren Sharp v Leeds City Council The Court of Appeal confirmed last week that fixed costs apply to Pre-Action Disclosure Applications (PADs) which have dropped out of the personal injury portal. You will recall our previous articles following the development of the argument that fixed costs…

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January

Teenager who fell from roof of teen shelter loses claim against Council

31/01/17

Jablonski v Preston City Council Blackpool CC - HHJ Carr A teenager brought a claim for compensation after he suffered brain damage following a fall off a teen shelter on a play area. The claimant had accessed the top of the shelter by climbing the adjacent fence and stepping over onto the…

It's not all plain sailing!

31/01/17

November 2016 HHJ Beech Evidence from paramedics and a 999 log led to the downfall of this claim for personal injury. The claimant alleged that she sustained serious injuries whilst using a slipway to launch her boat with her husband. She claimed that the slipway ended abruptly and as a…

Paraplegic mountain biker wins case against instructor

31/01/17

Asif Ahmed v Leon McClean 2016 EWHC 2798 QB In this tragic case, the claimant was left paraplegic after falling during a mountain bike tuition course run by the defendant. The claimant took part in a beginners' mountain bike tuition course. The website described that the beginners'…

Court of Appeal clarifies "reasonable foreseeability test"

31/01/17

Dean & Chapter Of Rochester Cathedral v Leonard Debell (2016)[2016] EWCA Civ 1094 CA (Civ Div) ( Hallett LJ, Elias LJ) 09/11/2016 A cathedral appealed against a finding of liability after it was found liable in negligence for an injury sustained by a pedestrian who had tripped and fallen…

What to expect in 2017?

31/01/17

There is no doubting that 2016 was an eventful year in more ways than one but what can we expect from 2017? The government seems set on significantly reforming the personal injury sector. At the end of last year the government unexpectedly announced a consultation including a package of measures…

Supreme Court rules Parliament must vote on Brexit

24/01/17

The Supreme Court by a majority of 8 to 3 has ruled that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union. Following the ruling the Attorney General has confirmed that the government will comply with the judgment of the…

Injured horse rider loses negligence claim

01/01/17

Tina Blandford v (1) Forestry Commission (2) Steven Edmunds (T/A D.M. Edmunds & Son) (3) Woodgate Sawmills Ltd (2016) CC (Bristol) (Judge Lambert) 14/10/2016 The Claimant was riding a horse through woodland in the Forest of Dean with two friends on a trail they had used regularly. The Claimant…

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23 Aug 2018

Insurance

NEWS AND ARTICLES

Important Decision for Defendants on Fixed Costs

The Court of Appeal determined that a claimant was not entitled to standard or indemnity costs where a…

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