Simira Javed -v- British Telecommunications PLC [2011] EWHC 90212 (Costs)

Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011

The Claimant had been involved in a road traffic accident with a vehicle driven by an employee of the Defendant. The Defendant admitted liability, subject to receipt of medical evidence on causation. The Claimant’s solicitors released the orthopaedic report to the Defendant together with a Part 36 offer in the sum of £3,000, asking for a response within 21 days. The Defendant requested medical evidence and further information in relation to a separate accident in which the Claimant had been involved just three months prior to the index accident. The Claimant’s solicitors released the further medical report and sent proceedings to Court for issue on the same date. The Defendant subsequently requested the missing pages of both reports together with the GP report in relation to the first accident. It was not until months later that the Defendant had all the relevant information whereupon it made an offer of £1,500 which the Claimant accepted. The Claimant put in a bill of £8,654.19. The Defendant argued that the Claimant should be restricted to fixed costs in accordance with CPR 45II because proceedings had been issued unreasonably and with complete disregard to the Personal Injury Protocol. The Claimant sought to argue that the original orthopaedic report which was disclosed considered the earlier report and gave a definite prognosis and that negotiations were not on-going. Master Simons was in no doubt that proceedings had been issued unreasonably. It was reasonable for the Defendant to await evidence in relation to the first accident and it should have been obvious to the Claimant’s solicitors that such evidence should have been disclosed. There had been no dilatoriness on the part of the Defendant and the matter would have settled without the need for proceedings had the protocol been followed. The Claimant was entitled to the costs which she would have received had she acted reasonably which were those costs set out at CPR 45II. There was no need to carry out a line by line assessment.

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