Sintons secure landmark ruling


Davies v Forrett, Partington & SRICL

Jamie McCabe was instructed by Eldon Insurance Company Limited (claims handlers for Southern Rock Insurance Company Limited – “SRICL”) to defend a multi-million pound brain injury case. Sintons successfully defended the case passing the responsibility onto another insurance company and recovering their costs and a new authority on non-party costs orders was created.

The Claimant was the front seat passenger of the car driven by Mr Partington and insured by SRICL under a Social, Domestic and Pleasure policy (SDP) which excluded commuting. On the day of the accident the Claimant and Mr Partington were commuting to work which was a use not covered under the policy.

Mr Partington attempted a ‘double-overtake’ manoeuvre whenever the car in front, driven by Mr Forrett, pulled out into his path. Mr Partington avoided collision with Mr Forrett’s car but hit a tree. The Claimant sustained a traumatic brain injury and Mr Partington also suffered significant injuries. Both have advanced personal injury claims which were consolidated into the same action.

Mr Forrett was convicted in the criminal courts for his bad driving on the day of the collision however supported by his insurers he denied any liability for the accident in civil proceedings arguing that Mr Partington was 100% to blame for the accident.

As SRICL’s policy did not cover commuting they sought a declaration that they were entitled to ‘stand in the shoes of the MIB’ thereby only compensating the Claimant if there were no other insurance companies in the picture with any liability. Sintons argued that Mr Forrett was at least partly to blame for the accident and that therefore his insurers, Admiral, should pay the Claimant’s compensation. The position was strongly contested by Mr Forrett and his insurers; although they were not a party to the declaration proceedings they sought to assist Mr Partington in defending the same.

The Claimant requested summary judgment against Mr Forrett based on his criminal conviction. Days before the hearing Mr Forrett/his insurers conceded negligence but the case proceeded to a hearing to resolve the issue of who should pay the significant costs incurred.

Mr Justice Edis handed down a comprehensive judgment ordering Mr Forrett’s insurers to pay the Claimant’s costs along with SRICL’s costs of the main action. It was also ordered that Mr Forrett’s insurers should pay SRICL’s costs of the declaration proceedings despite the fact that they were not a party to that action. Mr Justice Edis considered that Admiral should rightly pay those costs as (i) their conduct had forced SRICL into bringing the declaration proceedings and (ii) Admiral had partially funded the defence and had been acting in their own interest not that of Mr Partington.

The case was a great success for SRICL who have now dropped out of the action (without any liability in a multi-million pound claim and with their costs paid) and the authority has clarified the position upon when cost orders can be made against non-parties.

– See more at: https://www.sintons.co.uk/news/sintons-successfully-defends-southern-rock-against-multi-million-pound-pay-out#sthash.7DPayzyl.dpuf

Sintons successfully defends Southern Rock against multi-million pound pay-out in Davies v Forrett, Partington & SRICL.

Jamie McCabe was instructed by Eldon Insurance Company Limited (claims handlers for Southern Rock Insurance Company Limited – “SRICL”) to defend a multi-million pound brain injury case. Sintons successfully defended the case passing the responsibility onto another insurance company and recovering their costs and a new authority on non-party costs orders was created.

The Claimant was the front seat passenger of the car driven by Mr Partington and insured by SRICL under a Social, Domestic and Pleasure policy (SDP) which excluded commuting. On the day of the accident the Claimant and Mr Partington were commuting to work which was a use not covered under the policy.

Mr Partington attempted a ‘double-overtake’ manoeuvre whenever the car in front, driven by Mr Forrett, pulled out into his path. Mr Partington avoided collision with Mr Forrett’s car but hit a tree. The Claimant sustained a traumatic brain injury and Mr Partington also suffered significant injuries. Both have advanced personal injury claims which were consolidated into the same action.

Mr Forrett was convicted in the criminal courts for his bad driving on the day of the collision however supported by his insurers he denied any liability for the accident in civil proceedings arguing that Mr Partington was 100% to blame for the accident.

As SRICL’s policy did not cover commuting they sought a declaration that they were entitled to ‘stand in the shoes of the MIB’ thereby only compensating the Claimant if there were no other insurance companies in the picture with any liability. Sintons argued that Mr Forrett was at least partly to blame for the accident and that therefore his insurers, Admiral, should pay the Claimant’s compensation. The position was strongly contested by Mr Forrett and his insurers; although they were not a party to the declaration proceedings they sought to assist Mr Partington in defending the same.

The Claimant requested summary judgment against Mr Forrett based on his criminal conviction. Days before the hearing Mr Forrett/his insurers conceded negligence but the case proceeded to a hearing to resolve the issue of who should pay the significant costs incurred.

Mr Justice Edis handed down a comprehensive judgment ordering Mr Forrett’s insurers to pay the Claimant’s costs along with SRICL’s costs of the main action. It was also ordered that Mr Forrett’s insurers should pay SRICL’s costs of the declaration proceedings despite the fact that they were not a party to that action. Mr Justice Edis considered that Admiral should rightly pay those costs as (i) their conduct had forced SRICL into bringing the declaration proceedings and (ii) Admiral had partially funded the defence and had been acting in their own interest not that of Mr Partington.

The case was a great success for SRICL who have now dropped out of the action (without any liability in a multi-million pound claim and with their costs paid) and the authority has clarified the position upon when cost orders can be made against non-parties.


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