Thursday, 22 December 2011

Watch out! The insurers are after you! Ali v. Esure Services Ltd.


The insurance industry's worst kept secret is that there is a boom in fraudulent claims. It seems that most insurers now have fraud investigation departments who are increasingly active in hunting down dubious or downright fraudulent claims. And why not? Fraudulent claims are criminal and result to some extent or another in increased premiums for the average consumer. Fraudulent claimants cause genuine ones to run the gauntlet of intrusive questions and enquiries by insurers.
Esure has just gained the distinction of a Court of Appeal judgment arising from an alleged accident in the town where my office is, Huddersfield. The report is on a technical legal point which has little general interest but you can read it here:-
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2011/1582.html

The story behind it, though, is much more interesting. The Claimant was represented by solicitors in Bromley, Kent, despite the fact that the accident took place hundreds of miles away and despite Huddersfield being perfectly well supplied with PI lawyers. Nothing too novel about that though. A claim was issued in Medway County Court, later transferred to Huddersfield, and Esure defended it on the basis that they were not in fact the insurers of the named Defendant. So after the filing of the Defence in August 2009, the Claimant discontinued the action by a notice of discontinuance. There things lay until September, when Esure applied to revive the action. Now this seems on the face of it rather odd. After all, they had got out of the case, so why get it going again? The answer lies in what happened next.
Once the trial of the claim had taken place, with the Claimant, unsurprisingly, not taking any part and the claim being dismissed, Esure applied to transfer it to the High Court for their application to commit the Claimant to prison for contempt. They said that the Particulars of Claim were in reality a sham. They pointed to the provisions of CPR Part
32.14, which provides that:-

"(1) Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against a person if he makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth."
In other words, if you make a claim which may be fabricated, don't assume that it's pretty much risk free. You may secure a no win no fee deal with your lawyer but the statement of truth is not an empty formality. The Claimant is alleged to have authorised the Particulars of Claim, complete with statement of truth, it is said, and containing particulars which were untrue. Now as yet we have no idea whether this attempt to send him to prison will succeed. The Claimant has made it clear that he will defend it and denies authorising anything. What is quite sure, though, is that he is bound to experience many sleepless nights awaiting the trial and its outcome.
The gauntlet has been thrown down by the insurers – if you thought you were in for a free ride, think again!

5 comments:

  1. This case(Esure V Ali) is being used against Me, I suffered an almost crippling injury at work, My solicitors did nothing regarding the case until the three year limit was up, when this limit was up my solicitors then told me that to continue working as my solicitors they wanted a retainer of a minimum of £14000.00, As I had seriously injured myself at work & Not been given any form of compensation these then crap solicitors told me that they wanted FOURTEEN GRAND from me to continue acting as my solicitors - NO WIN-NO FEE=NO TRUTH-NO JUSTICE! Having not worked for 5 years & having not won any compensation from the company that has crippled me where am I supposed to get £14000. from, now the defendants have quoted Esure v ali & want to have me put away for contempt of court!!, there claim is that this case is Has & always was fraudulent, the only reason this case had a discontinuance issued against it was that my then solicitors refused to continue the case without a retainer fee being paid, now Me, a seriously disabled individual, who can barely walk & some days can't even get out of bed due to the pain could be looking at a lengthy jail term for supposedly committing fraud!!!, How fraudulent can I be when before this incident I had worked all my life from 16 & now since this accident I have not worked a day due to the pain I am in, I take several prescribed drugs , Walk with two canes & sleep most nights downstairs cos I cant face going upstairs & causing more aggravation to my back, - what sort of a world is this where the injured get punished & the people responsible for the safety of the injured get rewarded, Disgusting.

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    1. I Know exactly how you feel, the same case is being used against me in very similar circumstances, I too injured myself at work,, I now walk with a cane & only for very short distances, I too had a claim with a " No Win/No Fee" firm of solicitors, That firm of solicitors done absolutely bugger all until all but the three year initial claim period was up, In my case I have two witnesses for the defendants who are outright lying, I have contacted the police with cause to pressing charges against both these individuals for perjury & attempting to pervert the course of justice should the defendants continue this barrage against me, I now live in Cornwall & the defendants want me to attend a hearing in Southampton!!, I can not manage to get to the supermarket (8 miles away) as a passenger in a car without causing my back to seize up & causing me immeasurable amounts of pain & discomfort so how am I supposed to get to Southampton?, The solicitors who were acting for me during the no win no fee term put forward a discontinuance without my consent because they wanted a similar amount from me as a retainer, & now will not represent me in this case without said retainer, I am disabled have not worked since the accident in 2007, I rent the property I live in, I am not a billionaire with access to unlimited funds, I am just a common man who was injured at work & screwed over by the legal system, Because this case is still deemed a civil matter I can not get any form of legal aid, so my wife is going to represent me at the court hearing in Southampton, this adds a fuel bill of over £120.00 to our already depleted funds, no firm of solicitors will help us, & I think it is disgusting that the firm of solicitors which has got me in this predicament now wash their hands of me, Because of this my stress levels have increased, my blood pressure is through the roof, I have been put on the maximum strength anti depressants, I now have regular appointments with the mental health because I feel suicidal - after all I can not be deemed guilty for something I have not done if I am dead!, & what's more the case of Ali v Esure has no bearing on the case Ali v Esure was a case of insurance fraud involving fictitious people in accident fraud, the individual (Ali) had not suffered & is not suffering from an almost debilitating back condition caused from an accident at work, I have been truthful in all my statements, & the defendants are just picking what they want out of all the documents ignoring anything that might harm their case - any thing that could help me - Me & my wife now have to go & do battle in court possibly the high court without legal representation to fight for the right not to get any form of compensation from the company that caused me serious injury!!!!, How messed up is that?!?!?!?, Not only will the proceeding court appearances strain us financially but I, A seriously disabled individual, disabled because of the negligence of a haulage company, may end up in front of a High Court Judge, unrepresented by any form of legal professional - because I can not get any help from our crap government in the form of legal aid & end up being committed to prison for a crime that I have not committed!!, what sort of a world are we living in where refugees & Immigrants have more rights to the legal aid system than a BRITISH BORN & BRED individual who has worked all of his life since a paper round at 11 yr old right up until the date of my accident in 2007 without ever claiming from the government for anything. I am UTTERLY DISGUSTED with the way in which us hard working individuals are treated when accidents happen & We are told that we are liars. Paul

      PS To the anonymous writer above I wish you all the best in your case & I hope that you would wish me the same.

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  2. It remains the case that many solicitors fail to hold any ability to deal with such fabricated Defences or seek statements of truth from those alleging them. The reverse of contempt of court proceedings upon the Defendant/solicitors is perfectly doable should the solicitors have any ability or technical understanding of the law - in short far too many fee only interested solicitors within the practice of law?

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