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QOCS protection lost after court finds claimant faked injury

costs [1]

Claimant to pay costs of trial and application

Insurer Admiral has claimed victory in a whiplash case where its customer claimed there was no contact between the two vehicles.

District Judge Dudley said there was “absolutely no doubt whatever in my mind” that the claimant had been “fundamentally dishonest” in the evidence he gave during the trial at Southend County Court.

This meant that the claimant lost the protection of qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) and was ordered to pay the costs of the trial, which Admiral said were £6,000.

He was also ordered to pay an additional £1,000 to cover the costs of the application DJ Dudley required before he was prepared to make the “fundamental dishonesty” ruling.

A spokesman for Admiral said its customer was accused of driving into the back of the claimant’s car after he performed an emergency stop to avoid a collision with a motorbike.

The spokesman said the claimant “alleged he had suffered neck and back whiplash injuries which persisted for months and even went so far as to get GP reports for himself and his passenger”.

At the trial DJ Dudley dismissed the application, but asked for a separate application to be made to determine the issue of fundamental dishonesty.

Under QOCS, successful defendants can only recover costs against claimants in limited circumstances, including fundamental dishonesty.

Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, said: “We are understandably delighted with this significant ruling. The third party involved brazenly lied about the circumstances, putting our customer through undue stress and inconvenience so we were determined to prove they were fundamentally dishonest.

“We hope it sends a warning that a dishonest individual could have a very significant cost liability should they pursue a case against us, as the judiciary are willing to make findings of fundamental dishonesty.

“It will also hopefully make solicitors think twice before bringing these cases to court in the first place.”

Admiral was represented by Horwich Farelly.