Josh Hedgman reduces six-figure claim to £941 and secures partial disapplication of QOCS after three-day remote trial

Published: 22/06/2020 | News

Josh Hedgman was recently instructed to act for the Defendant during a remote trial in a combined property damage and personal injury claim.

The Claimant brought proceedings arising from a flood to her home after the Defendant’s agents had damaged a kitchen pipe. The Defendant had effectively admitted a liability as a result of that event. The leak unfortunately went undiscovered over a number of months.

The Claimant brought proceedings for several items of work to her property following the water damage. It was also alleged that the water intrusion caused the central part of the lounge to ‘bow’ or otherwise rise into a camber. The Claimant was said to have fallen and sustained injury to her neck and shoulder after tripping on that section of flooring. The claim was issued seeking the sum of £540,000 albeit the personal injury component was highly speculative. 

The trial took place over three days in June 2020 before Her Honour Judge Backhouse. The Court proceeded to hear the matter remotely by Skype and both parties’ orthopaedic surgeons were permitted to give oral evidence.

Josh cross-examined both the Claimant and her orthopaedic surgeon extensively. As a result, the Judge rejected the Claimant’s orthopaedic opinion together with the Claimant’s account of the accident and injury. The Judge preferred the Defendant’s orthopaedic opinion that the fall event would have caused no more than 2 to 3 months of shoulder pain, albeit the personal injury claim failed in any event as the Claimant did not come up to proof on the mechanism of the accident. 

The Judge allowed some modest awards for water-damaged items, most of which had been offered by the Defendant in its counter schedule. The total Judgment came to £941.81. The Judgment sum was substantially worse than a Part 36 offer of £30,000 that the Defendant had made in 2017. As a result, the Claimant was ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs from 2017. The Judge also ruled that 50% of the costs were enforceable as they related to a non-PI claim pursuant to CPR 44.16(2)(b).  

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Josh Hedgman is a member of the Farrar’s Building Personal Injury and Civil Fraud Teams.  Josh frequently delivers training, seminars and workshops upon request.  Please direct any such request to the Farrar’s Building Clerking Team.