DWF believe that they are the first to secure a strike out on an OIC related matter.
The case involved two Claimants – one with purely tariff injuries and the other claiming tariff with additional injuries to his elbow and knee. SNCF's were submitted by Hamara solicitors and liability initially disputed by DWF's insurer client.
Hamara solicitors wrongly issued Part 7 proceedings after liability was disputed.
DWF applied to strike out the P7 proceedings and argued that the third party solicitors had failed to follow the rules as set out in the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims below the Small Claims Limit in Road Traffic Accidents. The Claimants should have proceeded a liability determination pursuant to paragraphs 6.12(1), (5) and (6), 12.9 and practice direction 27B of the Pre-Action Protocol.
The matter was heard in Bradford County Court where DDJ Mahmood held that there was a clear of abuse of process and granted DWF's application that the Part 7 proceedings should be struck out, also ordering the Claimants to pay DWF their costs assessed in the sum of £4,900.
DDJ Mahmood, was highly critical of the Claimant Solicitors and their catalogue of errors, including failure to understand the rules and how to progress a claim within the OIC Portal and failing to file a statement in response to the Defendant's application. The Judge held that they show cause within 14 days as to why the solicitors themselves should not be personally responsible for the Defendant's costs in this matter.
DWF's Jewels Chamberlain, said, "DWF and our clients will not tolerate those who try to circumvent the rules of the OIC portal and pre-action protocol, we are delighted with the result."