Brain injury: Challenges for claimants

Deirdre Goodwin examines the pitfalls in quantifying brain injury claims ‘Careful investigation is required of the claimant’s pre-accident employment, not only evidenced by payslips but – in respect of the future – the likely career trajectory.’ This is a time of rapid change: the discount rate, appropriate accommodation claims methodology, as well as significant advances …
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Case report: Zeromska-Smith v United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 552 (QB)

Anonymity orders; media; open justice ‘The judge held that, notwithstanding the exploration of intimate details of the claimant’s private and family life, the principle of open justice was not adequately satisfied by only publishing the name of the defendant.’ Martin Spencer J refused an anonymity order in a clinical negligence case in which the claimant …
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Experts: Part 35 and the joint statement

Christopher Sharp QC highlights the need for experts to be fully instructed ‘It was important that all experts and all legal advisers should understand what is and what is not permissible as regards the preparation of joint statements.’ A group of recent cases has revealed some worrying aspects of how experts, and their instructing lawyers, …
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Fraud: Molodi and Richards a year on

Has judicial benevolence been eradicated? Anthony Johnson explores the effect of two recent fraud judgments ‘In my view, the main thing that practitioners can take away from Richards and Molodi is probably that an atmosphere has now been created where defendants can be more confident in appealing factual determinations of fraud cases.’ Two of the …
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Ex turpi causa: Credit hire, loss of use and illegality

Antonia Ford considers when an illegal act will provide a defence of illegality ‘Where a claimant is engaged in an illegal act, the claim may be extinguished on the grounds of public policy under the doctrine of ex turpi causa non oritur actio.’ When a person is involved in a non-fault road traffic accident, they …
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Costs: Truly exceptional

Paul Jones outlines when a claim can escape the fixed costs regime ‘The key issue to be addressed was whether the Master had applied the correct legal test in determining whether the case should attract greater than fixed costs.’ The perennial argument in many current costs disputes is whether a case should attract fixed costs …
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Documentary disclosure: Medical records in court

Ben Rodgers sets out the evidential basis of medical records at trial ‘In Shaw, the use of the wheelchair was not noted in the defendant’s record. This meant that the record was unreliable.’ Medical records are a crucial part of personal injury and clinical negligence litigation. If those notes happen to be scrutinised in a …
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