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DWF leads the way with Skype trial win against cold calling

Insurers will be interested in remote trials and hearings taking place during the pandemic and will be encouraged to see that we are pressing to defend these cases and using remote means.

DWF is not letting remote hearings stand in their way in their fight against unmeritorious personal injury claims, as a judge finds that following a cold call a claimant was prompted to make more of the discomfort he had suffered in an RTA. 

The claimant, Mr John Gorman,  issued proceedings seeking compensation for alleged personal injury arising out of a road traffic accident in October 2017. Whilst the accident was genuine and breach of duty was accepted, DWF put Mr Gorman to proof in relation to causation. There was no objective evidence that any injury had occurred.  

The claimant was represented by Gowing Law, and relied on the medical report of Dr Simon Briggs which reported a retrospective prognosis of whiplash. The retired claimant had sought no medical attention following the accident, yet had attended his GP during the prognosis period for unrelated medical conditions, without mentioning any accident related injuries. 

The trial on 7 April, before District Judge Osborne in the Manchester County Court, took place remotely, by Skype, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During cross examination, Mr Gorman confirmed that he was prompted to make an injury claim through a cold call. 

Ultimately, the judge was satisfied on balance that the claimant had not established causation of the injuries as claimed and he dismissed the claimant's claim. Mr Gorman may have had some discomfort or the like but had been prompted to make more of it following the cold call.

DWF are recognised in the market for their counter strategy for farmed claims and even during this unprecedented pandemic we are faced with, DWF are prepared to consider remote Skype trials if appropriate to make sure clients receive the same excellent service

Jewels Chamberlain, Director and Head of Validation Team said, "We cannot have dubious claims hiding behind the tragic pandemic currently affecting our country. We will continue to fight these cases with our usual robust defence and, if it is appropriate to hold the trial by Skype or any other remote means, so be it. Having the claimant answer to the court by Skype is an example that it is business as usual."

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

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