Following a 7 day trial, with Satinder Hunjan QC representing the Claimant and the Defendants appearing by Leading and Junior Counsel, a defence of fundamental dishonesty was defeated, with the Court making adverse findings against the Defendants including of dishonesty with their position as stated at the outset of the claim.
This case demonstrates the excellent understanding of the Court of Claimants, how lay people can present generally following injuries and to medical attendants, which can easily and wrongly be attributed to being dishonest.
The Defendants spent a great deal of time and costs in trying to establish fundamental dishonesty; their efforts were unsuccessful with serious adverse findings being made against them by the Court.
It will be noted that the Court found in the alternative that even if the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest, by reason of the Defendants conduct it would have been unjust to deprive the Claimant of his damages. Importantly, the Court took into account the conduct of the Defendants generally (including in respect of liability) in their vigorous attempts to try and prevent the Claimant from receiving any damages.
Where a claim is truly fundamentally dishonest, a Claimant may properly lose all his damages; equally these are serious allegations and should not be made tactically and without sound support and after properly analysing the expert evidence which being used to substantiate the same. Further, undoubtedly dishonesty will be deprecated by all whether it comes from the Claimant or the Defendants. If from the Claimant he may lose all his damages; if from the Defendants indemnity costs may be an inadequate remedy and consideration given to striking out of the Defence and Counterclaims as well as the award of penalty or higher rates of interest.
Satinder Hunjan QC was instructed by Nicola Kitchener and Sue Roberts of Affinity Law
The judgement can be found here.
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