CPR 44.15 - The Lesser Used QOCS Exception

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06 July, 2017

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. Contributory negligence was also alleged.

It was noted that the Claimant had made two previous claims against the Local Authority, the Defendant also highlighted the inconsistencies in the Claimant's account of the accident and sought to rely on a number of entries from the Claimant's Facebook account.

After receipt of the Defence setting out the Defendant's case, the Claimant's solicitors were unable to obtain instructions and they made an ex parte application to come off record.

The Claimant failed to comply with the subsequent case management directions and the Defendant made an application to the Court to strike out the claim and to dis-apply QOCS on the basis that the Claimant's conduct had interfered with the just disposal of the claim.

The Court agreed and case was struck out.

Forbes comment

It was clear that our concerns about the veracity of the claim were vindicated. Once the Defence setting out our concerns was disclosed, the Claimant, appreciating that his claim was under intense scrutiny, went to ground and declined to take any further active steps in his own case; an all too familiar scenario. This case reiterates that a finding of fundamental dishonesty is not the only way to have QOCS dis-applied. CPR 44.15 is a useful tool where the Claimant has consistently failed to comply with case management directions or taken the step to discontinue the claim.

For more information please contact Nick Holgate by email or call 01254 662831.

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