Jones & Ryan Campbell v Fannon was a bogus passenger case
which saw us defend two personal injury claims, the basis being
that the Claimants' van was empty at the time of the
It was the Claimants' case that their van was parked in a
car park when the Insured Driver sought to pull into an adjacent
space, and in the process of parking, contact occurred.
Whilst she admitted making contact with the Claimant's
vehicle, the Insured Driver remained adamant that it was empty at
the time and that the Claimants approached across the car park
following the incident. Her account was supported by her brother
who was a passenger.
The claims were initially defended almost purely on the evidence
of the Insured driver and her passenger that the Claimant's van
was empty at the time of the contact.
As we investigated further the strength of the case increased -
particularly when we discovered that both of the Claimants had made
almost identical claims a few months earlier, during which concerns
were also raised in relation to occupancy.
By obtaining the medical reports for the previous accident we
discovered that the Claimants were examined by the same expert on
the same day for both the index and the previous accident, and they
had reported the same injuries, with one of the Claimants going as
far as to describe hitting his wrist on the dashboard in both
This information combined with the fact that neither of the
parties had sought any medical attention, had not mentioned the
incident when they had attended the GP and that it had been
confirmed in an accident questionnaire at the time, that there were
no injuries, gave us high levels of confidence.
On this basis we felt that this was a strong enough case to take
to trial even in the face of a large adverse costs risk given the
age of the case.
On the day of trial, the District Judge found that the
discrepancies in the Claimants' cases and lack of medical
attention led him to the conclusion that the personal injuries were
not only insignificant but false.
On this basis the claim was dismissed and costs awarded on the
indemnity basis in the sum of Ł15513.04
This case highlights the importance of obtaining the medical
evidence from previous accidents, as in this case, the silver
bullet proved to be their inability to explain why they had given
the same account of injuries for two separate accidents.
Settling contentious claims without prejudice to liability is an everyday occurrence for most Insurers. The vast majority of claims which are subject to litigation are settled at some point in the course of the proceedings, and the settlement is usually expressed to be without admission of liability.
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