Interim Payments in Catastrophic Injury Litigation
Posted By : Bill On 03/09/2018 10:20:08
­I've had many interesting interim payment experiences over the years, but two recent ones stand out.

The first is reported as Bayley Porter [2017] EWHC 3205 (QB). I think it’s the largest interim payment ever - £1.9 million – but what struck me about it is that it was contested by the NHS. We had overwhelming evidence that the poor accommodation was hindering the claimant’s progress, but, instead of a sensible dialogue about how to improve matters, the case was taken to court, resulting in another demonstration of how Eeles does not stop claimants buying houses.

The second is again a case where the claimant’s progress is damaged by what I would call defence intransigence; failure to fund rehabilitation, causing limitation of the therapies, and possibly impacting on the eventual independence of the claimant (which might have a cost impact adverse to the defendant).

I think interim payments are a major area where neutral facilitation would work – I'm sure that a good facilitator could have managed both these cases to a better, and cheaper for the defendant, result.

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Permission for care expert in brain damage compensation claim payout
Posted By : Bill On 30/08/2018 08:47:42
­I was very surprised to read the case of Ryan v Resende [2018] EWHC 2145 (QB), in which the High Court judge allowed an appeal from a decision refusing the claimant permission to rely on a care expert.
Not surprised at the result, but because any judge, even at the lowest level, could have thought it appropriate to deny a claimant the ability to present a claim for future care and support. One of the reasons was that other experts could give that evidence, and of course the defence experts lent some support to that (although one did have the decency to express reservations), but surely it must be axiomatic in any big or biggish case that a care expert is necessary.
Taking charge of a major case, and mapping out a clear route is easy – if you have it as a priority – and it makes a significant difference to the end result. It would avoid finding yourself without a crucial witness.
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Esure, insurers and why the media have had the wool pulled over their eyes
Posted By : Bill On 09/03/2018 09:00:00
Esure, the insurer, reported a 35.6 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits yesterday to £98.6 million. The increase in profits allowed them to announce a dividend of 13.5p per share.

So this is another insurer which has managed to make massive profits despite the outcry last year when the discount rate was changed to the correct one.

I wonder whether the media realise that they had the wool pulled over their eyes last year with all the spin about the unmanageable cost to the consumer of increased compensation.

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Judicial appointments - is it any wonder serious litigators try their utmost to avoid the courts?
Posted By : Bill On 09/03/2018 09:00:00
There was a fascinating article in the paper recently, about the quality of judicial appointments. Vacancies can't be filled at all levels up to High Court, and the obvious result is that the quality of appointments has fallen, and is now low. Until 2015, all High Court judges were said to be “A class”, or “outstanding” candidates. The standard has slipped so far now, though, that the Judicial Appointments Commission admits that new High Court judges are rated A or B (“strong”). It’s worse, though, when we look at circuit judges. In 2016, 14 appointees were C-class, which is the polite way of calling them third rate, or “selectable”. This is the first time grade Cs have been chosen. In 2017 there were even more C class – 19, and most recently there were 25 – so 58 third rate judges appointed to important posts in the last three years. At the lowest level, there were nearly as many grade Cs as the total of A and Bs – 43 compared to 53.

It’s no wonder, is it, that serious litigators try their utmost to avoid courts.­
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