Brian McCluggage is instructed in complex personal injury and insurance/indemnity matters in the High Court or in cases of commensurate weight, ranging between £200,000 to £20,000,000 in value. He works nationally and is regularly instructed in difficult liability disputes and matters involving complex expert medical and engineering evidence.
In personal injury work, his practice predominantly involves claims with life-changing or catastrophic consequences. He is experienced with accommodation claims, care regimes and PPOs in the context of serious limb trauma, spinal injury, and brain damage claims. These instructions are predominantly from insurers.
Brian has a particular interest in Fatal Accident Act claims and has experience of cases involving deceased persons with business interests and/or complex family arrangements. His fatal accident practice is evenly split between claimants and defendants.
Recent Notable Cases
- Jackson v. Hilti UK Limited (2019) Leeds County Court, HHJ Gosnell. Defeating £1m+ chronic pain case on factual/medical causation. Dr Simpson vs Dr McDowell as pain experts.
- Blake v. 1) Croasdale 2) Esure  EWHC 1919 (QBD). Successful defence of alleged £3million brain damage case on basis of ex turpi causa. Claimant was a passenger in a vehicle of alleged drug-dealers fleeing from the police. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/2511/AC5004191
- Axa Insurance v. 1) Financial Claims Solutions 2) Aurangzaib  EWCA Civ 1330. Leading authority on exemplary damages in the tort of deceit. Affirmed availability of exemplary damages where fraud against insurers in personal injury litigation. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003248
- Tuson v. Murphy  EWCA Civ 1461. Leading authority on whether defendants can avoid the usual order where claimant guilty of malingering/fraud if Part 36 made with knowledge of the fraud. While this decision went against insurers’ interests, the underlying case was a good result for insurers, reducing a seven-figure claim to low six figures. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003386
- Ford v. 1) Northern Rail 2) QBE Insurance  EWHC 1417 (QBD): successful High Court appeal against finding for claimant at first instance in industrial disease case involving fraud. Replaced leading silk for purposes of the appeal. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003690
- Rhys Williams v. 1) McMurrays Haulage 2) WM Morrisons  EWHC 2079 (QB). Part 20 Claim between Defendants after catastrophic injury to Claimant’s hand and wrist. Contribution claim unsuccessful but pursued on economic grounds after excellent settlement with claimant meaning trial was cost effective. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003920
- McHugh v. Okai-Koi  EWHC 1346 (QBD): ex turpi causa, contributory negligence in high profile fatal case involving a road rage death in both tragic and unusual circumstances which gained national media attention https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5639/AC9902257 and https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/nurse-sued-for-250000-over-road-rage-death-of-london-mother-a3502726.html Claim was for £1.5 million, not £250k as reported by the Standard.
- Blake v. 1) Croasdale 2) Esure  EWHC 1336 (QBD): a leading authority on resiling from admissions in cases involving change of value https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5357/AC9902257
- Select Car Rentals v. Esure Services Limited  EWHC 1434 (QBD): leading authority on insurers’ ability to obtain third party costs orders against credit hire companies https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5450/AC0154930
- Shui v. University of Manchester  ICR 77, Employment Appeal Tribunal decision exploring case management involving litigants-in-person suffering severe mental illness https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5535/AC0155386
- Hatfield v. 1) Drax & 2) SG Transport (2017) HHJ Belcher: liability dispute arising out of truck accident leading to amputation. £2 million claim dismissed http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2017/09/15/an-expert-report-that-was-extraordinary-in-its-presentation-and-shot-through-with-breath-taking-arrogance-this-doesnt-end-well/
- Jahan & Ali v. MIB 2015: fatal accident cases and nervous shock claims on behalf of families of victims killed in the 'Birmingham riots' in the summer of 2011. Settled at JSM. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/28/tariq-jahan-sons-death-2011-riots-birmingham
- Express Solicitors v. Elite Insurance 2015: commercial litigation involving solicitors suing market leading ATE insurer for £500k unpaid indemnities. Acted on behalf of the insurer defendant raising issues of breach of policy terms. Counterclaimed in respect of unpaid premiums. Settled on advantageous terms.
- Lancashire Business Park fire litigation 2015: instructed on behalf of electricians defending claims for fire damage worth £30million by owners of property in Lancashire Business park. Clients paid out £2million by insurers through 'discharge of liability' clause and so effectively self-insured. Settled on basis that lay client came out with money left over. Some 20 parties involved. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-16298158
- Mason v. PJ Myers & Co (2014): 5-day trial for defendant against Silk. Hand injury leading to CRPS leading to a spinal cord stimulator leading to wound infection and back pain leading to falling down stairs leading to serious injury to other hand leading to morphine addiction. Significant credibility and complex causation issues. Claimant accepted Part 36 on day 4.
- Advising and acting for motor insurers in many of the highest profile 'fraud ring' cases (eg Operation Orion in 2008: deceit claim on behalf of 7 insurers against 63 defendants, Operation Koyna in 2015: deceit claim by Aviva against 20 defendants). Brian no longer undertakes RTA fraud work, but this litigation gave great experience in court craft and case preparation involving voluminous documentation and multiple parties.