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‘Lies are told in litigation every day’

Litigation Letter

‘Lies are told in litigation every day’

Widlake v BAA Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 1256 CA 23 November; SJ 1 December p29

The claimant was employed as a security guard at Stansted Airport when she fell down a staircase because of a loose rider beneath the top step. She suffered bruising to her back, legs and elbow. Liability was not disputed. She claimed £150,000 for loss of earnings as a security guard for the rest of her life. She told two consultants that she had no history of lower back problems, but she had in fact a significant pre-accident history of lumbar symptoms. The defendants paid into court £4,500, having carried out secret video surveillance which did not show any evidence of overt disability. The judge found that the claimant’s injuries would have resolved within 12 months of the accident and assessed her damages for pain and suffering and loss of immunity for £3,500 and her loss of earnings at £2,022.38. Although the claimant had beaten the payment in, the judge ordered her to pay the defendants’ costs.

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