News & Resources

Judgment in tort of deceit claim made concerning an alleged road traffic accident

2nd March 2016

Sacha Ackland appeared for Co-operative Insurance Services

Sacha Ackland appeared for Co-operative Insurance Services (instructed by Catriona Basey of Hill Dickinson) in a 2 day trial heard by HHJ Collender QC at the Mayor’s and City of London County Court, and successfully obtained judgment in a tort of deceit claim. In 2014 claims were made based on an alleged road traffic accident, including credit hire and personal injury claims. Various payments were made by CIS to the Defendants and a credit hire company in the belief that a genuine accident had taken place. Subsequent investigations revealed reason to doubt that any genuine accident had taken place on a public road, including forensic engineering evidence suggesting that one of the vehicles was stationary at the point of impact.

CIS brought proceedings in the tort of deceit against the two parties said to have staged the accident, claiming recovery of all sums paid (on the basis of a joint and several liability) and exemplary damages. One of the Defendants took no part in the proceedings, but the other entered a Defence, fully defended the proceedings throughout, and was represented and appeared at trial. After considering several authorities on the tort of deceit, assessment of the credibility of witnesses, and exemplary damages, Judge Collender QC found in favour of the Claimant on all aspects of the claim. Both Defendants were ordered to pay exemplary damages although the sums were modest given the lack of evidence of their means and that the Claimant had been compensated in damages.