13th February 2017
Anthony Johnson (instructed by John Lezemore of DWF) successfully resisted an appeal by a Claimant against a case management decision to allow the Defendant to rely upon expert medical evidence.
The Claimant, who claims to be suffering a wide array of symptoms as a direct consequence of a road traffic accident, brings a personal injury claim against the Defendants in respect of which causation remains firmly in dispute. Anthony Johnson represented the Defendants at a hotly contested telephone Application hearing where a Deputy District Judge was persuaded to grant them permission to rely upon a desktop report from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. It was this decision that the Claimant sought to appeal against the outcome of.
The appeal came before Her Honour Judge Williams in the Guildford County Court on 08.02.17, who upheld the Defendants’ submissions that the appeal should be dismissed. In a detailed judgment, the Judge accepted the Defendants’ case that causation was an issue for the trial judge, and that the evidence in question dealt with a lacuna in the other medical evidence in the case in relation to causation. The original judge had directed herself correctly in relation to the appropriate test under CPR 35.1, which must be viewed in the light of the Overriding Objective pursuant to CPR 1.1. HHJ Williams also reiterated the high legal threshold that parties face when seeking to appeal a case management decision: the Judge making the decision is afforded a generous ambit of discretion.