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Claimant Loses 49k Damages as High Court Overturns ‘’Injustice’’ Finding

An injured person who claimed more than £500,000 for lost earnings – while hiding the fact he was still in paid work – has lost his entire damages award because of fundamental dishonesty.

 

In Woodger v Hallas, Mr Justice Jullien Knowles overturned a County Court ruling that the Claimant, Mr Woodger, should still receive £49,000 in compensation despite of his dishonestly being found out.

 

The County Court had indicated that the Claimant would suffer ‘’substantial injustice’’ if he missed out on some of the money due to him, but the Judge said there was no proper or adequate basis for this finding.

 

‘’In every case where the Court goes on to find fundamental dishonestly… the Claimant will stand to lose their genuine damages’’, he said.  ‘’Parliament has provided in express terms that that should be so, subject to the question of substantial injustice’’.  He continued ‘’substantial injustice must mean something more than the Claimant losing their genuine damages’’.

 

In this particular case, the Claimant had been injured in a road traffic accident in derby in 2014 with liability admitted by the Defendant’s insurers.  The Claimant suffered lasting hip damage which he claimed affected his work as a mechanic.  He claimed damages for the injury itself as well as past and future loss of earnings.

 

The County Court found that the Claimant had been dishonest after he was caught on camera moving relatively freely at work and being paid by at least one employer.  The County Court Judge described potential payments from a second company as ‘’cloudy to say the least’’ and concluded that the Claimant had concealed his income.

 

Here the appeal Judge said that even if there was some injustice to the Claimant, the sustain nature of his dishonesty and involvement of others all made his dishonesty so serious that it would have outweighed any injustice to him.

 

Therefore, it was ruled that the County Court should have dismissed the entire claim and awarded the Defendant its costs of the action.

 

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