Oil leak case successfully defended

This was a claim for damages brought by a cyclist who sustained injury when he fell from his bicycle. The claim was funded with the benefit of a Conditional Fee Agreement.

The essence of the claim was that the claimant had ridden through a pool of oil which had escaped from the defendant’s parked vehicle. The claimant sustained serious leg injuries.

The defendant denied that her vehicle was parked where the claimant said it was parked, or that it was in any condition such that oil would leak from it. Details and photographs of the defendant’s vehicle were obtained.

The claimant had produced a witness questionnaire from a witness who suggested that she was aware that the vehicle was leaking oil. She was approached, and when the photographs of the vehicle were shown to her, gave evidence that this was not the vehicle she witnessed leaking oil. It was a different colour altogether. This witness did not see the incident herself but came across the claimant, as he was sat on the entrance to her property, waiting for an ambulance to attend. She waited with him and surmised as to what had happened.

On further investigation into the matter is also became clear that the defendant’s vehicle had been parked at work during the day and then, during the evening, had been parked at another address. The defendant had recently moved but, on the night of the alleged incident, had agreed with her housemates that they would return to the property they were sharing to clean it out. Her housemates produced witness evidence.

The defendant served her evidence in accordance with Court directions. However the claimant never complied with Court directions, in terms of giving disclosure or exchanging evidence. Further, he did not pay the relevant court fees and, eventually, the claim was struck out by the Court because of the failure to pay fees. A trial date had been set and it seemed likely that the claimant failed to give proper instruction to his solicitors, such that those providing After the Event Insurance refused to indemnify him in relation to court fees and trial costs. Subsequently the claimant’s solicitors applied for and were successful in coming off the court record.

Although claims involving pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists are often extremely difficult to defend, it was possible to do so on this occasion because of the significant investigations which were carried out on behalf of the defendant.

Case studies

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Bethany Blamire
Partner
Insurance Litigation
Southampton
023 8082 0549
07500 935 694
Insurance Litigation
Kelvin Farmaner
Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution Group
Insurance Litigation
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023 8082 0527
07500 935 553
Insurance Litigation
Sarah Wheadon
Partner
Health & Safety and Regulatory
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023 8082 0485
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Health & Safety and Regulatory
Chris Whiteley
Managing Partner
Personal Injury
Salisbury
01722 426921
07884 184 580
Personal Injury
James Braund
Senior Associate - Personal Injury Solicitor in Poole
Personal Injury
Poole
01202 339014
07887 525 415
Personal Injury
James Parsons
Consultant Solicitor
Insurance Litigation
Southampton
01752 421590
07970 191 514
Insurance Litigation
Andrew Boba
Paralegal
Insurance Litigation
Southampton
023 8082 0495
Insurance Litigation
Victoria Barrington
Legal Secretary
Insurance Litigation
Southampton
023 8082 0520
Insurance Litigation
Angela Fraser
Legal Secretary
Insurance Litigation
Southampton
023 8082 0517
Insurance Litigation