20th April 2016
Marcus Grant appeared for Tesco Insurance in two injury claims.
Marcus Grant (instructed by Hannah Lowe of Keoghs LLP) appeared for Tesco Insurance to defend two claims brought by a husband and wife from an alleged accident involving an accident management company (Accident Claims Expert “ACE”) based in Barnet, North London.
Tesco was unable to trace its insured to the address provided when setting up the policy. Database searches revealed that the same address was used to set up a policy with Aviva Insurance that resulted in a second accident claim. Aviva was unable to trace its insured to the same address. Its insured provided Aviva with a mobile telephone number that arose in a third accident claim also made against it. All three accidents involved the same accident management company, ACE.
Tesco Insurance and Aviva Insurance pleaded defences alleging fraud against the claimants in the three accidents. The Aviva Insurance claims were subsequently struck out and discontinued respectively and the Tesco Insurance claim continued to trial before Her Honour Judge Boucher in Central London. The Claimants were cross examined and found to be unreliable and to have lied about the happening of the accident, and about their subsequent alleged injuries and consequential losses The First Claimant alleged that he had been involved in four separate accident claims in the first four years of living in the UK, having moved here from Iran. Neither Claimant was able to adduce any independent evidence that the accident occurred as they claimed. The First Claimant failed to disclose that he had his car repaired, and that he had sold it some 7 weeks before he relinquished a credit hire car costing c. £95 pd that he was maintaining a claim for.
HHJ Boucher dismissed the claims on the basis they were fraudulent. She found that the Claimants were ‘fundamentally dishonest’ within the meaning of CPR 44.16(2) and ordered them to pay Tesco Insurance’s costs of the action on an indemnity basis. Further, she ordered that the file and her judgment be passed to the DPP with a view to criminal prosecution of the Claimants, observing that too much valuable Court time in Central London was being consumed by fraudulent insurance claims, delaying access to justice to genuine and needy litigants, such as homeless litigants wishing to challenge repossession orders.