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WHYATT AND OTHERS V POWELL AND ANOTHER

Lloyd's Law Reporter

WHYATT AND OTHERS V POWELL AND ANOTHER

[2017] EWHC 484 (QB), Queen's Bench Division, Mr Justice Lewis, 17 March 2017

Insurance (motor) - Driver uninsured and negligently injuring passengers - Compensation claimed by passengers from Motor Insurers' Bureau - Whether passengers knew or ought to have known that driver was uninsured - Motor Insurers' Bureau Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999, clause 6(1)(e)(ii)

On 15 April 2013 the claimants, JW (aged 23), GR (aged 16) and AR (who had his 15th birthday on that day) were, along with the defendant AP, at a house belonging to another person. The four left the house at about 22.00, and were in a car driven by AP, which was involved in an accident caused by the negligent driving of AP. All three claimants obtained judgments against AP. However, he was uninsured. Accordingly, the claimants sought to enforce the judgment against the MIB under the Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999. The MIB relied upon the exclusion in clause 6(1)(e)(ii), in respect of any person who knew or ought to have known that the driver was uninsured. In White v White and the Motor Insurers' Bureau [2001] Lloyd's Rep IR 493 the House of Lords held that it was necessary to construe the MIB Agreement consistently with EU law, and that the phrase "knew or ought to have known" was to be construed as covering only actual or "blind-eye" knowledge. The judge held that each of the victims had not given accurate evidence as to the amount of alcohol consumed and other matters, and that their credibility had been undermined. He concluded that the MIB had satisfied the burden of proof. The judge's conclusion was overturned on appeal and the case was remitted to the County Court.

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