You all should now have seen the recent case above and the issue of indemnity costs.
I’ve read various blogs and articles on the matter since the result came in but of course not all of the full facts have been relayed.
Here is the full chronology:
6 Sep 12 – Date of Accident
17 Dec 12 – Letter of Claim to other party
20 Feb 13 – Liability Denied (blaming the Defendant)
20 Feb 13 – Letter of Claim to Defendant
15 May 13 – Liability Denied (blaming other party)
19 May 13 – Letter sent to other party
Sep 13 – Other party stated that they had tried to discuss the claim with Defendant but could never receive a response.
23 Jun 15 – Medical evidence disclosed (a 26 month injury by the way with some loss of earnings). Part 36 Offer of £3,000
29 Aug 15 – No response therefore C lodged papers at Court
9 Sep 15 – Liability remained denied
3 Extensions were given for a Defence
5 Nov 15 – Defence denying liability with allegation of contributory negligence
Early disclosure of medical records was given to Defendant
14 Jan 16 – Allocated to Fast Track and Trial listed for 7th June 16 (not a Trial Window as others report)
24 Feb 16 – Defendant now says they are ‘investigating liability’
14 Mar 16 – Defendant makes application for Specific Disclosure
23 Mar 16- Defendant admits breach of duty and negligence but denied causation
13 May 16 – Defendant’s application for specific disclosure dismissed.
18 May 16 – Defendant accepts Part 36 Offer.
The Claimant wanted indemnity costs due to late acceptance. The Defendant denied the request and the matter proceeded to the District Judge hearing under Rule 36.13(4)(b)
It was agreed before the hearing that there was no automatic entitlement to indemnity costs. The Defendant also stated that they were,
“perfectly entitled to fully investigate causation given the red flags on the case. It was only when the District Judge dismissed our Specific Disclosure Application that we made the decision not to continue with this claim, and I accepted the Claimant’s Part 36 offer at the earliest opportunity.”
The Claimant agreed that the Defendant was fully entitled to investigate the claim however submitted that investigations should have commenced as early as receipt of the Letter of Claim (liability of course was denied early). The Claimant contended that if the Defendant required more time to investigate the claim then they should have requested an extension of time of the relevant period (they never did so).
As liability was denied then surely the Defendant had already completed their investigations!
The Claimant of course did not agree that the Defendant accepted the Part 36 Offer at the “earliest opportunity” given that the earliest opportunity was upon receipt of the offer.
The Claimant also agreed with the Defendant that the matter was stayed, save as to costs.
Of course the decision of the DDJ and the rest of the case is now history.
Was there anything more than late acceptance? Make up your own minds on the facts!