Insurance and risk law specialist BLM has successfully defended multi-national financial services company Allianz and secured exemplary damages following a deceitful personal injury claim.
The claimant, Stephen Alderton, submitted a medical report of injury in October 2014 following a road traffic accident in May 2013, although Allianz disclosed its telephone recording from July 2013 in which he confirmed he had not suffered any personal injury. A defence was filed along with a counterclaim in deceit, claiming damages for bringing a false claim.
Allianz successfully applied to strike the main claim out. On the counter-claim the judge awarded Allianz exemplary damages of £1,849.28 (75% of the sum claimed by the claimant) and its own claims investigation costs of £1,000. The claimant was also ordered to pay costs of the main claim and counterclaim which totalled £13,000.
At the final counterclaim hearing the claimant had argued that his solicitors were not following his instructions and he had wanted to discontinue the claim. Following the final verdict, the claimant’s solicitors apologised about the handling of the claim and paid the award in full.
The case further underlines the danger posed to insurers by personal injury solicitors who fail to take proper instructions.
A team of BLM fraud specialists, lead by partner Raymond Southern, represented Allianz.
Raymond Southern, partner at BLM, said: "This is another great success by Allianz, demonstrating how a firm stance in defending the claim can result in real savings. Importantly, a strong response in deceit resulted in a direct award for Allianz and significant costs recovered. It was an expensive lesson for the claimant, or more appropriately, for his solicitors who subsequently paid the full amount of over £15,000. This appears to be another case in which the conduct of the solicitor was the root of the issue."
Mihir Pandya, fraud manager at Allianz Insurance said: "This case highlights the lengths people will go to for their own financial gain. We work very closely with fraud specialists like BLM to investigate fraudulent claims to protect our honest policyholders."