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Craig Sephton QC Leads Hugh Davies at the Supreme Court in High Profile Fraud Case

Craig Sephton QC leads Hugh Davies in a test case on claims that have been dishonestly exaggerated

The Trial Judge’s decision, upheld by the Court of Appeal, was that where a claimant suffered a genuine injury as a result of a defendant's negligence, the court had no power to strike out the claimant’s personal injury claim in its entirety, despite the fact that he had fraudulently exaggerated his claim, see Summers v Fairclough Homes Limited [2010] EWCA Civ 1300

The defendants obtained a video which showed that the claimant was working some 3 ½ years after the accident, despite his assertion that as a result of the accident he would never work again. The judge found that once that video had been disclosed, everybody knew that the claimant was lying and that he was living in a “fool’s paradise” if he assumed that he might succeed in his original claim.

The judge accepted the medical evidence that the claimant could not work for 3 years after the accident, but that thereafter he was capable of undertaking most kinds of employment. The judge therefore awarded him damages of about £100,000 but penalised him heavily in costs for having lied.

The defendants are not satisfied with this result and argue that the law should go further. They say that by lying so flagrantly, the claimant abused the process of the court, and his action ought to be struck out altogether. They invite the Supreme Court to rule that, having regard to the claimant’s dishonesty, courts should have power to strike out a dishonestly presented claim.

The hearing is due to take place on 18th and 19th of April 2012.

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