The importance of checking the trial bundle index

Weightmans successfully defended a substantial claim for repairs, credit hire and recovery and storage charges following a collision

In Alan Ward -v- Veolia Environmental Services Weightmans successfully defended a substantial claim for repairs, credit hire and recovery and storage charges following a collision involving the defendant’s waste lorry.

This was a case which hinged on the credibility of the two drivers as there were no other witnesses.  There were a number of inconsistencies in the evidence presented by the claimant’s wife (who was the driver) in the two statements that were served.  The inconsistencies related to her recollection of the accident and the events that followed.

The draft bundle index prepared by the claimant’s solicitors failed to include the earlier of the witness statements.  Weightmans ensured that it was included as it was obviously relevant and something that the trial judge had to consider.  

During cross examination, the inconsistent elements of the statements were opened up and this led to further difficulties for the claimant.

The defendant’s consistent version of events was preferred and the judge therefore found for the defendant and dismissed the claimant’s claim and ordered repayment of an earlier interim payment and awarded the defendant the costs of the action.

This case not only demonstrates the importance of consistent liability evidence but also carefully checking the contents of the trial bundle index and insisting that all relevant material goes before the Court.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our legal update, please contact Charles Williams, Partner on 0151 242 7961, or charles.williams@weightmans.com; or Gavin Clark, Solicitor on 0151 242 6918, or gavin.clark@weightmans.com

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