DAC Beachcroft secures 10th Casualty Fundamental Dishonesty Finding

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DAC Beachcroft secures 10th Casualty Fundamental Dishonesty Finding

Published 23 marzo 2018

Last week our casualty counter fraud team secured a successful outcome in which a judge made a finding of fundamental dishonesty following Kerry Bell's application pursuant to CPR 44.16. Two claimants had alleged that they had been injured and further embellished their story once they were told the CCTV was not available.  The claimants' allegations became unstuck when the insured found the CCTV footage and it was introduced as evidence proving that the claimants had not been injured at all.  Their solicitors applied to be removed from the court record and the claimants sought to discontinue their claims. The judge hearing the application commented that "the timing of the discontinuance is compelling"…"the only reason, the dominant reason, for the discontinuance related to the effects of being rumbled. They proceeded on the basis that the defendant had lost the CCTV"…"They used this event to put forward a false account.  The medical evidence is an extension of the falsehood. I as a judge and any member of the public would conclude that they had put forward a dishonest case."

This week, another successful application pursuant to CPR 44.16 has led to a further finding of fundamental dishonesty.

In this case the claimant slipped on a discarded food product in the insured's store.  CCTV footage shows the claimant slipping and hitting her head on the shelving. She was clearly shaken and witness evidence confirmed a bump to her forehead.  Breach of duty was admitted.  The claimant relied on medical evidence from a consultant orthopaedic expert who reported that her symptoms were ongoing.  The claimant sought permission to rely on further expert evidence from a pain management consultant, psychiatrist and her original expert but did not ultimately produce any additional evidence, relying only on the original report.

The claimant claimed among numerous other things that she was unable to clean, cook, shop, carry out activities with her children etc. RSA's intelligence team carried out a number of investigations which resulted in evidence showing the claimant pursuing the activities she claimed she was now incapable of enjoying. Surveillance evidence further demonstrated that the claimant was more than capable of going about her daily life.

The defence was amended to plead that the claim was fundamentally dishonest which was very quickly followed by an application for the removal of the claimant's solicitors from the court record and a discontinuance of the claim. Sarah Reay lodged the application pursuant to CPR44.16 which was heard this week. The claimant did not attend and judge allowed the application commenting that it is a wonder that people think that they can get away with it.

Barry Hutchinson Counter Fraud Unit Leader at RSA commented "I am delighted with this result which demonstrates the excellent collaboration between our legal partners, surveillance operatives and the good work our tenacious claims handlers do to protect our honest customers."

Combined, our lawyers have saved our clients more than £100,000 defending these two claims alone. Our dedicated counter fraud casualty team continues to thrive and successfully defend claims made against corporate entities, landlords, local authorities and others. We have secured 10 fundamental dishonesty findings and savings of more than £2 million in the last twelve months. 

We have achieved additional results below:

Discontinuances

58

Strike outs

13

Trial wins

16

Withdrawals

27

These results are testament to the expertise and dedication of our lawyers, together with working in collaboration with other areas of our business. We work closely with our complex injury teams on high value claims to ensure that our clients receive the best service, litigation/fraud strategy and advice and our intelligence team to ensure that our clients are given useful information about emerging trends and claimant behaviours.  We also receive around 10 referrals into the casualty fraud team each week from around the business for counter fraud consideration.  This ensures that fraud is identified early, a fraud strategy is put in place and fraud leakage is minimised.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Authors

Claire Laver

Claire Laver

Birmingham

+44 (0)121 698 5730

Key Contacts

Claire Laver

Claire Laver

Birmingham

+44 (0)121 698 5730

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