• GL
Choose your location?
  • Global Global
  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Spain
  • UAE
  • UK

Sheriff encourages the judiciary to challenge grossly inflated claims

19 September 2018
Commercial Law
We are delighted to share some good news from our Scottish Counter Fraud Team.  In an action arising from a road traffic accident where the pursuer was held to have been 95% unsuccessful despite beating a tender (Part 36 offer) and securing an award of damages, Sheriff J Gilchrist QC determined that no expenses were recoverable by the pursuer.

The action was raised in the sum of £15,000 for personal injury, contractual sick pay, services and inconvenience.  The essence of the defence advanced by DWF, on behalf of Acromas, was that this was a low speed, minor incident and causation was at issue.

 

Significant adverse credibility evidence was obtained to discredit the pursuer's position that her losses stemmed from the incident and was lodged in process. 

 

Following three days of evidence, Sheriff Gilchrist rejected the Pursuer's valuation and awarded the sum of £750, stating that he did not believe such a "trivial event" could have caused the injuries described by the pursuer.

 

The case then called for a hearing on expenses where the Sheriff addressed the entitlement to expenses:

 

"the fact that the pursuer was ultimately awarded a small amount of money might entitle her to say that she 'succeeded' in her action, I do not think that is a proper characterisation of the outcome.  It is more accurate to say she was 95% unsuccessful.  Given the above, I am not persuaded that it is appropriate to make any award of expenses in favour of the pursuer." 

 

More importantly, Sheriff Gilchrist went on to say: 

 

"It seems to me that the court should do what it can to discourage the pursuit of grossly inflated claims arising out of road traffic accidents, given the adverse effect that such claims have on the cost of obtaining motor insurance……"   

 

He also refused to certify the employment of counsel by the pursuer commenting that: "even the ingenuity of counsel was not sufficient to fashion a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

 

Jill Sinclair, Head of Counter Fraud (Scotland) at DWF said: "The decision is a welcome development in the judiciary's determination of these type of claims.  We hope this decision discourages the pursuit of inflated claims and that other courts will adopt this approach where appropriate."   

 

Acromas commented: "We continue to be committed to ensuring our Policyholders are protected from the efforts of individuals who look to seek unjust award and profit from trivial matters, and are especially pleased that their representatives also fail to profit from such ventures.”

Further Reading

We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

Manage cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected

Functional cookies

(Required)

These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

These cookies are required

Tracking cookies

Anonymous cookies that help us understand the performance of our website and how we can improve the website experience for our users. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust, such as Google Analytics.

They may also be used to personalise your experience on our website by remembering your preferences and settings.

Marketing cookies

These cookies are used to improve and personalise your experience with our brands. We may use these cookies to show adverts for our products, or measure the performance of our adverts.