17th June 2016
James Henry (instructed by Matthew Warne of Horwich Farrelly and Hastings Direct) represented the Defendant at the successful application for a finding of fundamental dishonesty following filing of a notice of discontinuance in a case arising from a ‘slam-on’ induced collision forming part of a fraud ring in Leeds.
The Claimant claimed damages following a rear-end shunting collision on a motorway roundabout. A Defence and Counterclaim were filed pleading fraud on the basis that the Claimant had deliberately slammed on his brakes to induce the collision for the purpose of bringing fraudulent insurance claims. Investigations carried out by Hastings and Horwich Farrelly revealed that the Claimant was linked by his address, insurance policy and previous claims to at least two other people of suspect character. Between them they had been involved in four accidents in two years, all of which bore the hallmarks of deliberately induced collisions involving the use of decoy vehicles. It also appeared that the decoy vehicle in the index collision had been used in another induced collision.
The Claimant discontinued proceedings at an early stage and on the Defendant’s application the case was listed for a hearing to determine whether the costs of the claim and counterclaim were enforceable. District Judge Prest QC considered the Defendant’s evidence and the similar fact evidence arising from the linked claims before finding that the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest. Costs were awarded on the indemnity basis with permission to the Defendant to enforce against the Claimant.