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Law Bulletin - July 2007

European Court says “reasonably practicable” duty is lawful [Thompsons’ cases]

The Court of Justice of the European Communities has rejected an application by the
Commission of the European Communities for a declaration that, by restricting the duty on employers to ensure the safety and health of workers in all aspects related to work to a duty to do only that which was “so far as is reasonably practicable”, the UK had failed to fulfil its obligations.

A good example of overlap between personal injury and employment [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was bullied and harassed by a manager resulting in the onset of psychological injuries. He lodged a formal harassment at work complaint.

Contributory negligence [Thompsons’ cases]

Twenty per cent seems to be the figure of the month for Judges. In Walker -v- G F Tomlinson Building at Stoke on Trent County Court on 11 May 2007 the claimant, a building inspector, was on the defendants’ site and trod on a plywood cover over a manhole.

Judge finds that doors are not work equipment [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was walking along an external corridor towards a set of double doors.

MIB time limit unlawful [Practice and Procedure]

The claimant was a minor suing through his Litigation Friend. He was injured in a road traffic accident involving an untraced motorist.

Success fee payable where claimant goes under Part 36 Offer [Practice and Procedure]

In an RTA case the claimant at trial failed to exceed a payment in, under Part 36 of CPR. His solicitors acted under a CFA providing for a success fee of 100 per cent. The Deputy District Judge and the Judge on appeal held that the court had no discretion to award a different success fee.

Indexation of periodical payments [Damages]

In another case involving periodical payments, the Judge said: “It can be said with a degree of certainty that indexing future care costs who are PI will result in a significant and possibly substantial shortfall.”