Claim slashed in expert evidence debacle

Acting for the Defendant in connection with a road traffic accident in August 2004 for which liability was not in dispute.

Having served Orthopaedic evidence, the Claimant reported that he was not satisfied with that expert’s professionalism, and a further Orthopaedic expert was instructed.  The second Orthopaedic expert initially reported that there had been a 15-20 year acceleration of neck symptoms, however he significantly altered his opinion in the Joint Report, causing the Claimant to "lose confidence” in this expert also.  A further Application was made for permission to instruct a third Orthopaedic expert, who in turn gave his view that the Claimant’s accident related neck symptoms had resolved by 3 years post-accident.  All of the experts questioned the Claimant’s reliability as a historian.

The claim for Special Damages, which were initially pleaded at little over £12,000, was increased significantly to £132,000 in June 2009, with the Claimant contending for a substantial claim for past and future "additional wage payments”.  This was undoubtedly misconceived and in the seven-year life of the claim no evidence was provided to corroborate these losses.

The Claimant accepted the Defendant’s Part 36 offer of £17,500 just seven days before Trial.  The offer was accepted out of time, with the Claimant to pay the Defendant’s costs from the date of expiry of the Part 36 offer onwards.

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