Weightmans’ campaign against portal incubation receives a boost
His Honour Judge Graham Wood QC has endorsed the decision of District Judge Campbell, striking out a claim worth £2.6 million for abuse of process.
His Honour Judge Graham Wood QC has endorsed the decision of District Judge Campbell in Liverpool County Court, striking out a claim worth £2.6 million for abuse of process (Cable v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company).
In a clear example of portal incubation, the claimant’s solicitors submitted a soft tissue injury claim via the portal. The initial medical report dated November 2014 indicated a neurologist’s report should be obtained. This report also confirmed that the claimant was off work following the accident. The neurology report dated April 2015 confirmed that the claimant was still off work (salary of £130,000) and suffering from headaches and light sensitivity.
However, in July 2017, the claimant’s solicitors issued a Part 8 claim, maintaining that the case was suitable for the portal and obtained a 12 month stay. It wasn’t until August 2018 that the claimant’s solicitors indicated that the case was no longer suitable for the portal and sought the defendant’s solicitors’ consent to transfer to Part 7.
District Judge Campbell held that the portal process had clearly been abused and the claim was struck out.
On appeal, His Honour Judge Wood held that abuse of process was not a defined term and the issue was whether the party had acted in a way which was unfair to another. In this case, the claimant’s solicitors had been able to effectively bypass the requirements of the personal injury protocol and artificially extended the limitation period via the stay.
This Case follows Lyle v Allianz and can be seen as an endorsement of our strategy of identifying and dealing appropriately with such claims out via our standard letters.
If you would like to have access to the standard letters (now updated to include reference to this latest decision) or more information on how best to stop portal incubation, please fill in the form below.