A step too far for fundamentally dishonest claimant

21 Aug 2019

BLM has secured in excess of £30k savings for the defendant in a case in which the claimant was found to be fundamentally dishonest.


The claimant (C) was working for the defendant (D) to install a metal staircase. C alleged that he was asked to lift a metal tread. Although a hand genie device was available to assist him, he alleged he could not use it due to scaffolding. This meant he had no choice but to do it manually, with assistance from two colleagues and under supervision by another. C alleged that one of his assistants lost his grip and dropped the tread on C’s foot, causing injury. He relied on photographic evidence taken on his mobile phone which he said confirmed the bruising in his foot. He had no other evidence to support his claim.


The defendant, advised by BLM, had a number of concerns. His employer heard nothing about the alleged incident until they received the letter of claim; the date of the alleged accident in the Claims Notification Form differed to the date in the pleaded claim; and both colleagues who had allegedly assisted C had no knowledge of the incident (in fact one of C’s colleagues was working on a different site and the other colleague had left the company prior to the alleged accident).


At a Canterbury Crown Court hearing the judge noted the anomalies in the claimant’s evidence, including the fact that he continued to work the entire time, often doing overtime. He agreed there was evidence of an injury of some kind but said that the claim did not establish that an injury was sustained on the alleged date and in the way he described. He went on to find that C was fundamentally dishonest and ordered him to pay over £11k to the defendant in costs.


BLM associate Emmet Quigley, said: “We pleaded fundamental dishonesty at the earliest opportunity in the litigation and the claimant was on notice of the real concerns we had about his claim. We had support from three credible witnesses in his supervisor and colleagues who helped maintain our robust defence at trial. The claimant had one goal; to cash in on a dishonest claim against his employer. We have seen these claims presented time and again, where dishonest claimants believe it will be easy and straight forward to make money from their insured employers.  We also continue to see the industry taking a stance and fighting these cases head on. In this instance, the claimant has been left with a hefty bill for costs.”



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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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