Court permits a Defendant to re-open a dishonesty defence despite claim being discontinued

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A recent decision of the Court shows the importance of ensuring that claims are not brought dishonestly.

The High Court has ordered that a fundamental dishonesty defence against a teenage Road Traffic Accent claimant and the driver of the vehicle in which he was travelling should be determined even though they had discontinued their claim.

The defendant alleged that the second claimant, who was 13 at the time of the crash, was not actually a passenger in the car and his claim was fraudulent. The driver’s claim was thus ‘tainted’.

The claim follows new rules that recognise there is a public interest in identifying false claims and in those circumstances claimants meeting the costs of litigation. 

As a general rule the Claimant in a claim has the benefit of qualified one way cost shifting that means if the claim does not succeed then they will not be liable for the defendant’s costs. The rules in respect of fundamentally dishonest claims means that the defendant can seek to display the general rule and seek to enforce recovery of its costs

In this particular case the Defendant may not succeed in its arguments but the case serves as a warning in respect of bringing potentially dishonest claims.

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