Acting on behalf of Aviva, and instructed by Keoghs and DAC Beachcrofts, David argued successfully last week that two claims which were at trial should be stuck out.
The first case concerned a failure by Claimant solicitors to properly translate pleadings and witness statements into the Claimant's first language. There was also a failure to interpret and certify a list of documents. All these failures involved a breach of CPR 22 and its practise direction*.
The judge hearing the trial at Stoke County Court agreed and the claim was struck out. There was also a counterclaim. However, given that the Claimant had now no defence to the same then judgment for the Defendant was duly entered. The Claimant was ordered to pay damages and costs.
Later in the same week (and back again in Stoke) a Claimant`s claim was struck out as being an abuse of process when the Claimant persistently refused to answer questions under cross examination, replying instead “no comment”. His behaviour generally in the witness box towards the judge and counsel was hostile, argumentative and abusive - verging on a contempt of court. His failure to answer questions under cross examination meant he was unable to prove his case on liability; but also, that his conduct generally was classified as an abuse of process.
His claim was struck out as being an abuse and/or by reason of his conduct. As a result, CPR 44.15 applied, and he was ordered to pay to the Defendants £10,000 in costs along with the repayment of an earlier interim payment of around £2500.
Both of these cases resulted in an excellent result for Aviva and demonstrate that applications of this nature should always be made when the opportunity arises.
David is regularly instructed to defend fraud claims and matters involving Fundamental Dishonesty and is regarded as a tenacious cross examiner.
*David recently gave a seminar on this topic and another of his cases involving the application of the new PD22 can be found in the news section.
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