PI Practitioner – each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area.

The use of surveillance evidence


Rall v Hume [2001] EWCA Civ 146, CA (per Potter LJ at [19]):

“In principle, as it seems to me, the starting point on any application of this kind must be that, where video evidence is available which, according to the defendant, undermines the case of the claimant to an extent that would substantially reduce the award of damages to which she is entitled, it will usually be in the overall interests of justice to require that the defendant should be permitted to cross−examine the plaintiff and her medical advisors upon it, so long as this does not amount to trial by ambush.”

Timing of disclosure

Rall v Hume at [17]:

“It is therefore necessary in the interests of proper case management and the avoidance of wasted court time that the matter be ventilated with the judge managing the case at the first practicable opportunity once a decision has been made by a defendant to rely on video evidence obtained. Such a duty lies upon the defendant under CPR 1.3 which requires the parties to help the court to further the overriding objective under CPR 1.1(2), in furtherance of which, under CPR 1.4, the court’s duty of active case management includes giving directions to ensure that the trial proceeds quickly and efficiently.”

Uttley v Uttley [2002] PIQR P12, QB (per Hallett J):

“The principles of the CPR are clear. The rules are designed to promote disclosure of all relevant material within a reasonable time so that the parties and their advisers may prepare effectively for the trial and assess any offers of settlement from the other side. Withholding relevant material in an attempt simply to ambush a claimant is no longer permissible.”

Trial by ambush?

Douglas v O’Neill [2011] EWHC 601, QB, (per HHJ Collender QC at [46]):

“In my judgment the issue of ambush comes to this – are the circumstances in which the evidence is disclosed such that the Claimant has a fair opportunity to deal with it, or was the time or circumstances of disclosure such that the court should use its case management powers to prevent the defendant from relying upon it?”

April 4, 2013 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News