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Personal injury lawyer calls for failed dishonesty claims to incur penalties

By z4027672030, Jan 21 2016 02:40PM

A personal injury lawyer who managed to get a claim’s defence of ‘fundamental honesty’ dismissed in court has called for defendants who fail with the tactic to pay penalties.

Martin Littler represented Carol Ravenscroft at Manchester County Court last year, where she was awarded £3500 in damages after suffering injuries caused by a falling wardrobe at an Ikea store.

Ikea invoked new laws enacted last April, using the defence of claiming the claimant was being fundamentally dishonest, and that she had injured herself by trying to lift the wardrobe. The judge ruled in Ravenscroft’s favour, however, saying that Ikea had taken “a stance of suspicion rather than sympathy”.

This is believed to be one of the first cases in which a fundamental dishonesty defence has failed, and although she won her case, Ravenscroft was not awarded any indemnity costs or aggravated damages as a result of the defence’s allegations. As a result, her lawyer Littler said: “Surely a defendant who fails to succeed with a defence based on fundamental dishonesty should receive a costs sanction.”

He also added that a sanction would become more important if the government’s proposal of raising the small claims limit for personal injuries to £5000 went through. “Parties are expected to operate on a level playing field. In cases where the claimant has no representation, the defendants will be able to ‘dig up the pitch’”, he said.

Operations manager for Ikea Warrington, Mikhail Kireev, said in a statement for the company that they regretted that the accident in the store had occurred.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and you believe you were not at fault, get in contact with Taylors Solicitors today, where our personal injury lawyer team will be able to offer you a free initial consultation.

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