Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


PERSONAL INJURY & FATAL ACCIDENTS

A Van Emerging Onto A Main Carriageway Without Seeing Motorcycle 20% Liable For Collision With Motorcyclist That Ensued
Ringe v. Eden Springs (UK) Ltd, QBD, 12/01/12
David Pittaway QC had to determine liability in a claim for damages for personal injury brought by the Claimant motorcyclist. The Claimant had been overtaking a articulated lorry by driving in a hatched area. There was a dispute as to his speed but on his own evidence he had been exceeding the speed limit. The Defendant’s van was emerging from a junction onto the carriageway, intending to turn right. In the event, the Claimant’s motorcycle collided within the Defendant’s van. Mr. Pittaway QC held that the van driver should have waited until he had a clear view of the road to his right before attempting to make his turn. However, the Court found that the Claimant should bear the greater degree of responsibility for the accident in that he had significantly exceeded the speed limit (eye witness evidence as to his speed was accepted) and in overtaking the lorry in an improper manner. Consequently, the Claimant’s contributory negligence was assessed at 80%.

In A Claim Governed By Guernsey Law, An Employers’ Liability Insurer Was Only Liable To Indemnify Employer For The Proportion Of Employee’s Employment Covered By Insurance Policy
International Energy Group Ltd v. Zurich Insurance Plc UK, QBD, 24/01/12
Cooke J was required to determine the scope of the Defendant insurer’s liability to the Claimant employer and who was insured by the Defendant under an employer’s liability insurance policy in respect of an employee who had contracted mesothelioma and subsequently died. The employee had been employed by the Claimant for 27 years. The issue was whether the Defendant was required to indemnify the Claimant for the entirety of its outlay in settling the employee’s claim or whether its liability to indemnify should be limited only to a proportion corresponding to the duration of the insurance policy, being 6 years. The insurance policy was governed by Guernsey Law. Cooke J held that as the provisions of the Compensation Act 2006 did not apply, the Defendant was only liable to indemnify the Claimant limited to the proportion of the employee’s employment covered by its policy of employers’ liability insurance. Such a decision was consistent with the common law principles propounded in Barker v. Corus UK Ltd [2006] 1 A.C. 572, the effect of which the Compensation Act 2006 had sought to reverse.

February 16, 2012 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases