Forbes Solicitors
Insurance eNews  February 2019

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


Bullying - School Defends Pupil Negligence Claim


Victim of Libel Tweet Receives Compensation of £40,000

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

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 Jackson's 2010 Review of Civil Litigation, including:

i. non-recoverability of conditional fee agreement (CFA) success fees;

ii. non-recoverability of after the event insurance (ATE) premiums;

iii. the introduction of Damages-Based Agreements (DBAs);

iv. section 55 changes to Part 36 offers; and

v. banning referral fees in personal injury (PI) cases.


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

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 habitation. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 only requires landlords to keep properties "in repair". Here is a brief overview of the Act and the changes that it will make to the legislative framework.

What's new?

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

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 the wrong defect. At the trial, it emerged that the claimant could not recall exactly where she had fallen, although she remembered seeing a red door as she lay on the floor. Despite this, both the claimant and her husband were adamant that she had fallen over the gully.

The defendant sought to rely on the Section 58 defence. The accident location was subject to an annual walked inspection, no defects had been noted on the pre-accident inspection and the local authority had not received any complaints relating to this particular area.

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Regulatory Roundup

  • Two companies heavily fined after a girl is killed whilst using a lift in her own home
  • Cladding company fined after worker falls from height
  • Refuse company fined £1m following death of worker
  • HSE Updates Bouncy Castles Safety Advice

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Bullying - School Defends Pupil Negligence Claim

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 alleged that the two pupils had suffered injury because of the negligence of the school and the failure to take adequate steps to protect the children. The Particulars of Claim contained a long list of purported incidents, many of which lacked any kind of detail or substance.

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Victim of Libel Tweet Receives Compensation of £40,000

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 Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, together with two men. One of those men was Zahir Monir, the Claimant in this action. The Tweet accused Mr Monir of being a taxi driver who had been involved in a criminal act and called on readers not to vote for Labour. The Tweet was written, and posted on @BristolUKIP by John Langley, the Vice Chairman of the Bristol UKIP branch. Mr Monir was not a taxi driver and had never been accused of the criminal act referred to in the Tweet.


Claim Derailed By Compelling Statistics

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 is then connected to flight cables and they are swung back and forth in a pendulum motion.

Prior to the ride commencing, customers are taken to an area set aside to put on flight suits.

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Insurance Department offices in Leeds, Manchester and Blackburn

Head Office Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St John's), Blackburn, BB1 8DD
where a list of partners is open to inspection.

This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 46408)

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The content of this e-alert is merely informative and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice