No real change for disease claims in the Portal
A total of 28,379 disease claims have entered the Claims Portal to 30 April 2015 which includes 2,311 claims in April. However 78.5% (22,276 claims)…
A total of 28,379 disease claims have entered the Claims Portal to 30 April 2015 which includes 2,311 claims in April. However 78.5% (22,276 claims) have left the process and just 3.6% (1,022) of claims have settled. The biggest single category of claims leaving the process (35%) are those where a liability decision has not been made in time. It appears that the 30 day period for defendants to respond to the CNF remains a challenge if not unrealistic in many cases. Just 74 claims settled in April 2015. The average figure for general damages was £4,358 which represents a reduction to the 12 month rolling average of £4,632.
The overall picture is that the Claims Portal continues to play a very limited role in disease cases with parties unable to gain the benefits of a simplified fast process and fixed costs until the Portal is better adapted to disease claims. In contrast, EL accident claims, to which the Portal opened for business at the same time as for disease claims, not only are the numbers entering the Portal significantly higher (73,830) but also the numbers leaving the process are lower, currently approximately 63%. Nearly three times as many cases (just under10%) settle. In the more mature RTA Portal the settlement rate is approximately 27.5%.
The ABI’s paper “Noise Induced hearing Loss claims: Improving the claims system for everyone” published this month advocates:
- Extending the fixed costs regime outside the Claims Portal to disease claims
- Amending the Pre-Action Protocol to enable multi defendant disease claims to be settled through the Claims Portal, and
- Considering extending MedCo to cover claims for NIHL