Legal Update
Nicola Twine reflects on securing a finding of Fundamental Dishonesty with Enforceable Costs
30 January 2024

Nicola Twine reflects on securing a finding of Fundamental Dishonesty with Enforceable Costs

Author: Nicola Twine

What appears at first blush to be a straightforward case often is not. Many personal injury claims arise from ‘rear end shunt no fault accidents’, and damages are often expected to be recovered where that accident was sufficient to cause injury.

Withholding of information and misleading provision of information can have serious consequences.

Last week, in a case instructed by DWF for Aviva,  I was successful in having a claim dismissed and securing a finding of ‘fundamental dishonesty’.

The Claimant had been involved in two accidents in proximity and brought claims arising from both. DWF had obtained the medical reports in both cases and social media posts, which were able to be considered alongside her medical records.

The Claimant had been selective in what she had disclosed to medical experts, in relation to: each accident, her injuries, and her medical history. On the special damages claim there were suspicions of ‘claims layering’ - that the CBT and physiotherapy treatment had been added with the specific purpose of increasing the value of the claim and costs.

As the Defendant did not call evidence the case was determined following robust cross examination and submissions on credibility. The Claimant's reasons for her apparent failures were many. She was a poor historian unable to explain the inconsistencies and oddities. What is outlined as expected of a genuine claimant in 'Molodi' was not present. The trial Judge did not make finding of 'claims layering' but expressed concern about the medical reports in the case. Whilst it appeared that the Claimant may have been caught up in a model operated by others the Judge found that the Claimant was dishonest. In this case there was more than exaggeration at play, although exaggeration alone can give rise to a finding of fundamental dishonesty.

Fundamental dishonesty was found with enforceable costs and the Claimant was ordered to repay an interim payment.

Thanks to Rohini Kapur for her instructions and assistance.

Nicola Twine is a member of the specialist Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, and Employment Teams at Parklane Plowden Chambers and is ranked as a Leading Junior by Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 in Employment and by The Legal 500 in Clinical Negligence. Her full profile can be accessed here.