The claimant was an RAF helicopter pilot who suffered a neck injury while in a simulator. He was eventually medically discharged from the RAF. The Ministry of Defence contended that his symptoms were exaggerated. The Judge awarded him £1,000 damages holding that he had made a full recovery three months after the accident. The claimant contended that the Judge was wrong and had failed to consider the medical evidence that he had been suffering from continuing problems with his neck at least until the time of his discharge.

The Court of Appeal held that, while the Judge had found that there was exaggeration, that did not determine whether the accident had caused the symptoms for longer than three months or whether it led to his discharge. The Judge had failed to consider the medical evidence, which did not suggest that the claimant was deliberately fabricating his symptoms. If the Judge rejected the medical evidence it was incumbent on him to say so and to give reasons why.

Willson -v- Ministry of Defence. Court of Appeal, 9 May 2007.

Defendants get away with failing to plead reasonable practicability

We all know that,, if the defendants want to argue reasonable practicability in the defence, then they need to plead it.

The claimant slipped on a pool of water while walking through a school hall. It was accepted that she slipped on a pool of water and the defendants ran the reasonable practicability argument despite having never pleaded it. Despite this, and the fact that it was a multi track case, the Judge allowed them to do so and the defendant won as a result of it.

Moss -v- South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council. Newcastle County Court, 2 May 2007