The case of Molodi v Cambridge Vibration Maintenance Service & Anor (2018) EWHC 1288 (QB) illustrated the importance of claimants providing consistent accounts in pleadings and supporting evidence and the serious consequences the can result in the absence of such.
In Molodi, Mr Justice Martin Spencer found that the judge at first instance had adopted: ‘a much too benevolent approach to evidence from a claimant which could be demonstrated to be inconsistent, unreliable and, on occasions, simply untruthful’.
The case was referred to in a recent judgment given in the case of Lock v Fisher heard in the Croydon County Court before DDJ Jordan. The defendant was insured by CIS General Insurance Ltd and represented by Sarah Potter of Plexus Law with the assistance of James Laughland of Temple Garden Chambers.
In Lock, the claimant alleged that the defendant had reversed into her vehicle whilst in a car park resulting in damage and personal injury; the defendant denied that any such collision had taken place.
Akin to Molodi, the claimant’s evidence contained significant discrepancies about the nature of her injury, duration of her symptoms and her recovery period. Twelve days prior to the medical examination for the report ultimately disclosed in support of her claim, she had signed a claim form for the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (“MIB”) which confirmed that the injury had lasted for 6 weeks, she had also produced a witness statement for the MIB in which she confirmed that the injury had lasted 4-5 days to a week and later gave a witness statement where the prognosis period differed for a third time.
At trial, whilst the Judge accepted the claimant’s evidence in respect to the accident circumstances and found in her favour in respect to liability, he went on to dismiss the claim as fundamentally dishonest directing himself to Molodi. The crucial issue was that there had been three different accounts as to the claimant’s injury each endorsed with a statement of truth.
More than ever, it is important to scrutinise and cross-check all available accounts that have been provided by claimants to unearth any inconsistencies.
Detection of clear contradictions in evidence can be successfully utilised to undermine claimant’s accounts as to their injuries and call into question both the veracity of the claim itself and any entitlement to damages.
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If you would like to know more about this matter, please speak to your contacts at Plexus Law:
Kevin Perkins, Partner
T: 01422 394 251 | M: 07890 590 187 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Potter, Solicitor
T: 0151 243 3844 | E: email@example.com