03 March, 2015
Cubby v Wigan Council, DJ Mornington - Wigan County Court
Forbes' Insurance department successfully defended a claim for Wigan Council where the Claimant was seeking damages following an alleged tripping accident on a missing fillet surrounding a CATV box whilst walking home from a friend's house. The Judge dismissed the Claimant's claim for damages branding the Claimant as "unreliable" and "not credible", emphatically stating that she had no faith in the Claimant's evidence.
The Judge was critical of numerous aspects of the Claimant's case, including the alleged route and her account of the accident mechanics.
The Judge was not impressed with the Claimant's explanation as to why and how she had consumed alcohol and found that it was far more likely that she had been out drinking and had fallen on her way home as stated in the medical records.
In particular, the Judge was critical of the vastly exaggerated Schedule of Special Damages signed with a statement of truth stating that it was clear on the evidence that any claim for care only lasted for three weeks and not for the twelve weeks claimed.
As stated above, the Judge was extremely critical of the exaggerated claim for Special Damages. Going forwards, proving exaggeration in claims for Special Damages will provide an inroad for Defendants to challenge a Claimant's credibility. The proposed introduction of the concept of "fundamental dishonesty" via the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will require courts to dismiss claims in their entirety where the claimant has been "fundamentally dishonest" and will inevitably provide another string to a Defendant's bow.