Archived Legal Articles from 2019

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Insurance

October

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,…

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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