The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Negligence – hospital receptionist

The Supreme Court has given an important decision in finding that a hospital receptionist was negligent because she gave a misleading waiting time.

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Inquest – suicide?

The High Court has recently held that the civil standard of proof should apply to an inquest finding that the deceased took their own life. Prior to this decision, there was a criminal standard (ie ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’).

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Noise – de minimis

Insurers have won an important victory in noise-induced hearing loss claims, in successfully raising a de minimis defence.

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Contrib – child?

Can an eight-year-old child be guilty of contributory negligence? In principle, the answer is ‘yes’, but in practice, ‘no’.

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Medical expert – prison

A ‘reckless’ medico-legal expert has been sent to prison for contempt, because of false medical reports.

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Part 36 – high-percentage offer

Any Part 36 offer must be a ‘genuine attempt to settle the proceedings’ for it to be valid. Accordingly, an offer by a claimant to settle on the basis of 100% liability by the defendant will never be effective.

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Infant approval – fee

A useful note by Gordon Exall clarifies the position on infant approval fees. Apparently, many courts treat such a Part 8 application as being identical to a Part 7 claim (ie with the fee being a percentage of the value of the claim).

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QOCS – counterclaim?

Can a defendant bring a PI counterclaim, and then claim the benefit of QOCS (qualified one-way costs shifting)? The answer is that it can.

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Fundamental dishonesty – need to plead?

Does ‘fundamental dishonesty’ need to be pleaded by the defendant? And, if so, at what stage?

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MIB – exclusions

The High Court has recently held that the Motor Insurers Bureau is an ‘emanation of the state’ under the EU Insurance Directives.

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