Askarnia & Khorzanian v Field & Groarke
Edward Hutchin, instructed by Hannah Lowe of Keoghs, represented the successful First Defendant and her insurers in this major fraud case. Two related Claimants claimed damages for following a road traffic collision involving a multi-car shunt.
The claim was defended on behalf of the First Defendant on the basis that it was a deliberately induced ‘slam-on’, and that the Claimants’ evidence about the accident and their injuries and losses could not be believed. After a trial in Central London County Court spread over 4 days, involving oral evidence from witnesses, including a witness from the hire and storage company allegedly used by the Claimants, the claims were rejected. The Judge held that both Claimants were knowing participants in a fraudulent road traffic collision, and commented that the Claimants’ claims for damages would in any event have been dismissed because of the Claimant’s unreliable evidence. The claims were dismissed with indemnity costs in favour of the Defendants. The Judge disapplied QOCS on the basis that the claims were fundamentally dishonest, and gave permission for the costs to be enforced to their full extent.