The claimant was a patient suing by a litigation friend. In September 2005 the defendants made a payment in. In March 2006 the claimant’s solicitors told the defendant’s solicitors that the claimant wished to accept the payment into court. On 3 October 2006 the judge approved the settlement but then there was a dispute as to which party was entitled to interest on the money paid into court up until that date.Mr Justice Silber said that, according to paragraph 7.10 (1) of the Practice Direction to Part 36, unless the parties had agreed otherwise, interest accruing up to the date of acceptance was to be paid to the offeror. Claimants under a disability would not be treated any differently to those not under a disability. A claimant who was a patient therefore became entitled to interest only from the date of acceptance, and no acceptance was valid without the approval of the court. The date of acceptance for the claimant patient was therefore the date the court approved the settlement.
Brennan -v- ECO Composting Limited and Another. Queen’s Bench Division, 7 December 2006 (Times Law Reports).
Another attempt to withdraw admission defeated
In an RTA case the defendants admitted liability pre-issue. They made three settlement offers that we rejected. Proceedings were issued. The defendant’s solicitors said that they were withdrawing their admission of liability and were alleging fraud on the part of the client. At no point had these issues been raised pre-issue. They then filed a defence alleging fraud and denying liability.
We reminded them of paragraph 3.9 of the Protocol that the defendant is presumed to be bound by an admission for all claims with a value up to £15,000. We applied to strike out their defence. They made a counter application to resile from their pre-action admission of liability relying on the case of Sowerby and requesting that the matter be allocated to the multi-track because of the issue of fraud.
The District Judge dismissed their application. Judgment was entered for the claimant and the defence was struck out subject to the quantum issues.
Manchester County Court, 28 November 2006.