Archived Legal Articles from 2019

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December

New Guidelines for Pre-Birth Assessments and Care Proceedings

19/12/19

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory has recently published a review which will assist in developing new guidelines for pre-birth assessments and the removal of infants at birth from their parents. A local authority may wish to intervene during pregnancy and subsequently issue care proceedings…

Derbyshire Council fined £500,000 for failure to provide safe care

19/12/19

Derbyshire County Council have recently been fined £500,000 following the first prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against a local authority since the watchdog was given powers in 2015 to prosecute health and social care providers for failing to provide safe care and…

In Deep Water - The Pitfalls of Suing an Unincorporated Association

19/12/19

L v The Trustees of Anon Angling Society A claimant has had his claim for personal injury struck out after the Court found there was no legal basis for the claim. Background Claims against unincorporated member associations must be carefully considered as was illustrated by a recent…

Claim Misses the Target

19/12/19

A Claimant who was injured whilst attempting to move an archery target has lost her claim at trial. The facts The Defendant provided archery facilities and training sessions. The Claimant was a keen archer and attended sessions on a regular basis. Prior to an archery class starting, the…

Claims History Successfully used to Discredit Claimant

19/12/19

Evidence uncovered relating to a claimant's claims history led to the dismissal of his claim for personal injury following an alleged trip in a carriageway pothole. The facts The Claimant alleged that as he crossed the road, his foot went into a pothole, and he injured his ankle. The…

Claim defeated by CCTV evidence

19/12/19

Wilson v The Co-operative Group The Claimant was shopping in a supermarket when she alleged that she tripped on the upturned edge of a mat situated on the vegetable aisle. She fell forwards and sustained soft tissue injuries. The Claimant alleged that the upturned edge of the mat was a…

Regulatory Update - December

19/12/19

Council fined £1.4m after child suffers life-changing head injury on a street bollard Hampshire County Council has recently been sentenced and fined £1.4 million after being found in breach of s.3 (1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It has also been ordered to pay costs of &…

B (Secure Accommodation Order), Re (Rev 1) 2019 EWCA Civ 2025

17/12/19

The Court of Appeal has handed down an important decision, which analyses the law pertaining to secure accommodation orders. The local authority appealed an order refusing a local authority's application for a secure accommodation order under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 (s25) in respect…

Article 8 Rights of Prisoners and their Children

17/12/19

On 5 November 2019, the Ministry of Justice published the Government's Response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-Second Report of Session 2017-19, The right to family life: Children whose mothers are in prison . The Report highlights the difficulties in adequately supporting…

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November

Claimant found fundamentally dishonest

27/11/19

Ryan -v- Rochdale Borough Council Forbes Solicitors has secured a finding of fundamental dishonesty against a Claimant who brought a claim for personal injury after allegedly falling in a pothole. In December 2014, the Claimant alleged he was crossing the street when he lost his footing in a…

Court rules the costs of an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim

21/11/19

Fullick v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1941 (QB) The High Court determined that costs relating to an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim but such costs will be subject to the new post-Jackson proportionality rules. Usually, Coroners have no jurisdiction to award costs…

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019

21/11/19

Following recommendations made by Dame Janet Smith, Chair of the Shipman Inquiry, new regulations have finally been introduced to ensure greater consistency in the reporting of deaths by medical practitioners in England and Wales. The Regulations came into force on 1st October 2019 with immediate effect…

Defendant Successfully Bumps Claim

21/11/19

The Claimant brought a claim for personal injury after riding the dodgems at the Defendant's fairground attraction. The Claimant alleged that whilst on the dodgems, she was struck by another car driven by her cousin. She argued that as a result of the impact, she was propelled forwards and…

Forbes at Trial - Unreliable and Evasive Claimant Fails to Prove his Claim

21/11/19

A Claimant who brought a claim against the local authority after tripping in a damaged manhole cover has lost his claim at trial. The facts The Claimant alleged that he was unpacking shopping from his car parked outside his niece's house, when his right foot caught in a damaged manhole…

Regulatory Update - November

21/11/19

Council and Bus Company fined after a passenger was killed by a lorry at a bus station A bus passenger was run over by a grab lorry as she walked across a pedestrian crossing at a bus station. She subsequently died as a result of her injuries. The bus station had been demolished and was in the…

Portal Costs: Court of Appeal rules on the recoverability of disbursements

21/11/19

Aldred v Master Cham (2019) [2019] EWCA Civ 1780 CA The Court of Appeal has found that the cost of instructing counsel to advise on settlement in a RTA claim involving a child is not recoverable as a disbursement and should be included as part of the fixed costs. The facts A motorist…

Court Strikes out Claim Incubated in the Portal worth £2.6 million

21/11/19

Barry Cable v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited - Case number D34BI037 On Appeal, the Court has endorsed a decision striking out a claim worth £2.6 million for abuse of process. The facts The Claimant was involved in a road traffic accident on 1st September 2014. On…

Research reveals Facebook surveillance 'normalised' by social work teams

20/11/19

A 15-month participant study of social work and child protection practices in two local authorities in England has discovered the extent to which social workers use social media, particularly Facebook, to obtain information about service users' lives. The findings reveal that Facebook is used in…

Court rules the costs of an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim

14/11/19

Fullick v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1941 (QB) The High Court determined that costs relating to an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim, but such costs will be subject to the new post-Jackson proportionality rules. Usually, Coroners have no jurisdiction to award…

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019

11/11/19

Following recommendations made by Dame Janet Smith, Chair of the Shipman Inquiry, new regulations have finally been introduced to ensure greater consistency in the reporting of deaths by medical practitioners in England and Wales. The Regulations came into force on 1st October 2019 with immediate effect…

HSE Publishes Annual Injury and Ill-health Statistics for Great Britain

08/11/19

The HSE has published its annual report "Health and safety at work - Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019". Despite Great Britain being one of the safest places to work compared to its EU counterparts, the HSE say the statistics show that the number of injuries and incidents of ill health…

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October

Forbes at Trial: Doors Close on Unsuccessful Claim

17/10/19

An employee has lost her claim for personal injury after the Judge concluded that the automatic doors to the supermarket were not faulty. The Claimant was employed by the Defendant supermarket. On the day of the incident, she had entered the supermarket through the main foyer. She was walking…

The Court of Appeal reaffirms the no delay principle in care proceedings

17/10/19

Re H (A Child) (Refusal of placement order) [2019] EWCA Civ 1557 On 12 September 2019, the Court of Appeal held that an 18-month adjournment of care proceedings concerning a baby, who was 7 months old at the time of the judgement, to allow time for the parents to make sustained changes, is…

Zero damages offer is a genuine Part 36 offer

17/10/19

MR v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1970 (QB) The High Court has ruled that a Part 36 offer to settle a claim for nil damages on the condition that the police admit liability for false imprisonment and assault was a genuine Part 36 offer. The facts The appellant…

Regulatory Update

17/10/19

Council fined £100,000 after exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome The HSE has reported that a borough council has been fined for exposing seven of its grounds maintenance workers to Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS), caused by excessive use of power tools. The council pleaded guilty…

Cause and Effect; the Anatomy of Liability

14/10/19

I recently found myself at trial, facing a man who had hit himself with a sledgehammer. Not a likely basis for a personal injury claim, you might think, and you are probably right. However, somewhere along the line two things happened; the Claimant decided that it probably wasn't his fault, and…

Carpenter loses claim after breaking his own ankle with a sledgehammer

08/10/19

A Claimant who injured himself with a sledgehammer has lost his claim for personal injury at trial. The facts The Claimant had been tasked to work on a joint venture construction project by his employer, a labour-only sub-contractor. On 11th September 2014 the Claimant, who was a highly…

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September

From DOLS to LPS...

05/09/19

On 16 May 2019, the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2018 received Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in the Spring of 2020. This legislation will create a new and more streamlined model for authorising deprivations of liberty in care and will replace the current Deprivation of Liberty…

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August

Forbes at Trial: Father and Daughter School Tripping Claim Fails

15/08/19

Saleem & Rizwan v Rochdale Borough Council In October 2017, the First Claimant was taking his daughter, the Second Claimant to school. It was alleged that as they walked through the school grounds, they both tripped and fell in the missing part of a dilapidated grate. They brought a claim…

Forbes at Trial: Costly Claim Fails at First Hurdle

15/08/19

Cox v Bury A Claimant's claim for personal injury was dismissed after the Court concluded that the alleged pothole was not cause of the Claimant's accident. The Claimant alleged that she tripped in a pothole measuring in excess of 50mm and sustained a fractured elbow. The Claimant…

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July

Government Sets New PI Discount Rate at -0.25%

15/07/19

The Lord Chancellor has today announced that the new discount rate will be set at minus 0.25%. The announcement follows a comprehensive review of the rate as provided for in the Civil Liability Act 2018. Currently the discount rate stands at minus 0.75% after it was controversially reduced in 2017…

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June

Let's Twist Again - Defendant not liable for fairground injury

27/06/19

Cullum v Rainbow Amusement Park Ltd A Claimant brought a claim for personal injury after she alleged that she had been injured whilst riding on the "Twist" fairground ride at the Defendant's Amusement Park. The popular "Twist" ride rotates in one direction whilst the…

Social care liability - what does this case actually tell us?

14/06/19

Poole Borough Council v GN & Another Those of us who are involved with claims that deal with the actions of local authority social services have been waiting with baited breath for the handing down of the Supreme Court judgment in Poole BC v GN for almost 12 months. However, with the flood of…

Supporting Families; Investing in Practice

14/06/19

The Government has announced it intends to spend £15m to keep children out of care with an innovative scheme based on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and Family Group Conferencing (FGCs) models. The new scheme named Supporting Families; Investing in Practice will be rolled…

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May

Regulatory Update - May

23/05/19

NHS Trust fined after exposing workers to Asbestos Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been fined for exposing employees and contractors to asbestos whilst carrying out refurbishment works. The NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and…

Claim Fails to Make the Threshold

23/05/19

Wigan Council A music teacher who brought a claim against the local authority, alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty has lost at trial. The Claimant was a peripatetic music teacher, who visited the school on a weekly basis to deliver music lessons. She tripped on a threshold whilst…

New Winter Service Guide Published

23/05/19

The National Winter Service Research Group ("NWSRG") has published a new practical guide for winter service. The latest national code of practice 'Well-managed Highway Infrastructure' published in 2016 no longer contains information relating to the delivery of the winter service.…

Asset Management Competence Framework Released

23/05/19

The UK Roads Liaison Group ("UKRLG") has released an Asset Management Competence Framework to help highway authorities implement the recommendations of the new Code of Practice (Well-managed Highway Infrastructure), in particular, Recommendation 15 'Competencies and Training' which…

A duty to inspect under the Defective Premises Act?

23/05/19

Elizabeth Rogerson v Bolsover District Council [2019] EWCA Civ 226 The Court of Appeal has confirmed that pursuant to s.4 Defective Premises Act (DPA) there is no specific duty on landlords to carry out a system of regular inspection. The facts The Claimant was a tenant of a house owned…

Scathing Judge finds Ludicrous Claim for Care to be Fundamentally Dishonest

23/05/19

Nazir v Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council A claimant who presented a grossly overstated and exaggerated care claim has been found to be fundamentally dishonest by the Court. The claimant tripped and fell on to her left elbow in 2014 and sustained a fracture. A breach of duty was admitted…

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March

Judge Dismisses School EL Claim after Finding Training to be Exemplary

28/03/19

Wigan Council The Claimant alleged that during the course of her employment as a teaching assistant at a special needs school she suffered a serious injury to her right knee whilst trying to retrieve a keyboard from the highest shelf in a storeroom. The keyboard was required for a music lesson…

Discount Rate Review to Commence

28/03/19

The Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, has officially launched the anticipated review of the discount rate in a written statement to Parliament. The first review of the discount rate under the new Civil Liability review will start with immediate effect. Pursuant to the new process set out in the…

Medical Agency Fees are Recoverable as a Disbursement

28/03/19

In the case of Beardmore v Lancashire CC (Liverpool) (Judge Graham Wood QC) 06/02/2019, a Circuit Judge on appeal allowed the claimant to recover medical agency fees in a public liability ("PL") case that had exited the portal, and where the issue of disbursements was covered by fixed costs…

Doctrine of Mistake does not apply to the Portal

28/03/19

In the recent case of Fitton v Ageas (2018) Fam Ct (Judge Parker) 08/11/2018, a Circuit Judge has ruled that the protocol for low-value personal injury claims is a self-contained code and as a result the normal principles of contract such as the doctrine of mistake does not apply. The facts…

Regulatory update - March 2019

28/03/19

Reminder to Ensure Scaffolding is Stable and Safe in High Winds Following the recent exceptional high winds, the HSE is calling on construction workers to ensure scaffolding is stable and safe by following the scaffold design checklist. According to the HSE, the scaffold checklist is designed to…

RTA Medical Reports Subject To Fixed Costs

22/03/19

Medical Reports in RTA cases are the latest part of the CPR to become subject to fixed fees. As of 1 October 2014, a new fixed costs regime will come into force governing the fees which can be charged for the obtaining of expert medical reports in RTA Protocol claims. The updated Rule 45.19…

Discount Rate Review to Commence

21/03/19

The Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, has officially launched the anticipated review of the discount rate in a written statement to Parliament. The first review of the discount rate under the new Civil Liability review will start with immediate effect. Pursuant to the new process set out in the…

Medical Agency Fees are Recoverable as a Disbursement

21/03/19

In the case of Beardmore v Lancashire CC (Liverpool) (Judge Graham Wood QC) 06/02/2019, a Circuit Judge on appeal allowed the claimant to recover medical agency fees in a public liability ("PL") case that had exited the portal, and where the issue of disbursements was covered by fixed costs…

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February

Regulatory update - Feb 2019

25/02/19

Two companies heavily fined after a girl is killed whilst using a lift in her own home In August 2015, a five-year-old girl was using an internal lift, which had been fitted in her home for use by her disabled brother. The girl put her head through a hole in the vision panel and as the lift moved…

Claim Derailed By Compelling Statistics

15/02/19

Shaughnessy v Adrenalin Zone Ltd The Claimant brought a claim following an accident on an amusement attraction. The attraction in question offers riders the thrill of skydiving and hang gliding. Participants wear a full body flight suit that supports the flyer in a prone position. The flight suit…

Judge Reminds Claimant that we do not live in a Perfect World

15/02/19

Allinson -v- East Riding of Yorkshire Council An elderly claimant alleged that on 7th October 2014 she tripped over a sunken gully in the pavement and sustained an injury. Following the accident, the claimant's husband took photographs of the highway but unfortunately took photographs of…

Victim of Libel Tweet Receives Compensation of £40,000

15/02/19

A man has received £40,000 in damages after bringing a libel claim against the former Chairman of the UKIP Bristol branch following the publication of a Tweet during the 2015 general election campaign. In May 2015, a Tweet was posted by UKIP's Bristol branch consisting of a photograph of…

Bullying - School Defends Pupil Negligence Claim

15/02/19

Forbes has defended two unusual claims on behalf of a local authority. Two former pupils of a primary school brought a claim against the local authority alleging that they had sustained psychological and minor physical injuries as a result of being bullied by another child. It was specifically…

Are you ready for the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018?

15/02/19

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 ("the Act") comes into force on 20th March 2019. The Act will enable tenants to pursue claims relating to substandard housing conditions. Currently, there are no provisions requiring landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for human…

Post-Implementation Review of LASPO - Civil Litigation Funding and Costs

15/02/19

The Ministry of Justice has published its long awaited review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) assesses the impact of five statutory reforms implemented following Sir Rupert…

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January

Caution - Man who walks into a Sign Loses Claim

22/01/19

Mark Birkett v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Bradford CC - A man who walked into a street sign has lost his claim for personal injury against the local authority. The Claimant alleged that he had been walking along a pavement when he hit his head and arm on a brown tourist road…

Court rebuffs Property Damage Claim

22/01/19

In January 2018 at approximately 9.30pm, the Claimant was driving along the road in heavy rain when the front drivers' side of his vehicle collided with a pothole. The Claimant continued home and upon examination of his vehicle realised that the front tyre of his vehicle had sustained damage. He…

Regulatory update - Jan 2019

22/01/19

Healthcare company fined following fatal minibus accident In March 2014, a vulnerable patient was being transported home in a minibus following a GP appointment. The minibus was travelling along the A52 at speed when the patient opened the door and leapt out. She was fatally injured. Elysium…

Council is the First to Prosecute House Owner over Japanese Knotweed

22/01/19

A Bristol property owner has been fined for allowing the spread of Japanese knotweed. It is reported that this is the first time the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has been used in this way. In 2017, Bristol City Council served the property owner with a community protection…

2019 - It's not all about Brexit!

22/01/19

Last year was certainly another eventful year for insurers and defendants; and whilst Brexit looks set to be high on the agenda in 2019, we consider what other developments we are likely to see in the year ahead. Civil Liability Act 2018 At the end of 2018, the much-anticipated Civil Liability…

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