Debbie Letts –v- Royal Sun Alliance PLC [2012] EWHC 875 (QB)

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2012

C had been involved in an RTA. The letter of claim was sent on 5th October 2009. D admitted liability but not causation and intimated a low-velocity impact defence by letter of 24th November. D also made an offer of £500.00 in full and final settlement together with predictable costs. C did not respond to the offer but disclosed a medical report on 2nd December. On 16th December, D offered £1,300 for general damages but made no mention of specials or costs. C did not respond but gave notice of intention to issue proceedings on 11th January 2010 and proceedings were issued on 13th January, they day on which the protocol period expired. The Judge found that the outcome would not have changed had C waited to issue proceedings and that it was not open to D to argue that C should have awaited a clear LVI statement together with a coherent offer. Proceedings were not premature and costs were not to be limited by CPR 45 Section II. Mackay J was unable to say that the decision was wrong. Furthermore, although he did not have to decide the question, following Drew –v- Whitbread [2010] EWCA Civ 53 and O’Beirne –v- Hudson [2010] EWCA Civ 52, the Judge found that the Court could have regard to what might be recovered under the predictive costs regime but could not use that as a cap on the Claimant’s costs.

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