Civil litigation

 

 

You are a trainee solicitor in the firm of Higgins and Partners of 125 Twickenham High street, TW1 1JT. You are working in the civil litigation and dispute resolution department and your principal
has asked you to deal with the following matters with regard to 2 new clients:
1. Bowerman Limited, a building company in relation to non payment of a debt by its customer, Mr Martin Skinner; and
2. Dr Ahmed Shah in relation to his claim for damages for personal injury following an accident at work.
Read the attendance notes for each of the new clients in Annex A and then answer All the questions set out below. The marks for each question are indicated at the end of each question.

Questions

Dr Shah will be pursuing a claim for damages for personal injury for both his general damages (pain injury and suffering, loss of amenity, possible future damages and special damages (for his out
of pocket expenses up to the date of the trial). Mr Higgins estimates that Dr Shah’s damages will be more than £100,000.
1. Explain in which court you will issue Dr Shah’s claim and why with reference to the relevant CPR.  (6 marks)

 

2. If, we issue the claim now whilst Dr Shah is resident here, but then in a few months time Dr Shah moves permanently to the USA, what particular application are Nortens Limited (the
Defendant) likely to make, on what ground and what matters will the court take into account ?
(24 marks)

With regard to the new treatment that may prevent Dr Shah losing his sight which is only available in the USA, Dr Shah is worried that as medical fees are so expensive in the USA he will not be
able to afford it.
3. After we issue the claim, is there an application that we can make to get Nortens Limited to pay for this medical treatment? If so what application, on what grounds (assuming the Defendant
denies liability) and what matters will you address in a witness statement in support of that application?
(24 marks)
4. If Dr Shah issues a claim and at the trial (final hearing) he loses, can he appeal the decision? If so, how will Dr Shah appeal, who to, what form will the appeal take and what would he
have to show to be successful on appeal?  (16 marks)
In relation to the other client, Bowerman limited: 5. Please draft the claim form. You should assume that the claim form will be issue on 6th June 2017. Any interest calculation should therefore be up to and including this day. You do not need
to draft the Particulars of Claim. These will be drafted by your principal and attached separately.
(30 Marks)

Total – 100 marks
Annex A
Attendance note
Date : June 2017
In Attendance : John Higgins Dr Ahmet Shah
Re: Dr. Ahmed Shah v Nortens Limited

Dr Shah is a senior research scientist at Nortens Limited of 145 Sunningdale Road, Guildshire, Surrey (“the company”), a company specialising in the manufacture of household products ranging from
shampoos to weed killers. He is single, aged 38. He has devoted his whole career to scientific research. His field of expertise is detergents. For the past 4 years he has worked in the company’s
Research and Development division which is based at the company’s head office in Guildshire. He currently earns £70,000 p/a.
The accident occurred on 7th November 2016 when he was working in laboratory no. 4, with his research assistants. He was working at his “desk” which is a long table stacked with different types of
scientific equipment, computers and mini platforms on which they place various chemical compounds for observation under different chemical processes to which they are subjected. The mini platforms
are usually very stable and, as far as Dr. Shah is aware, there has never been an accident with the platform collapsing.
On the day in question he was working with a particularly volatile chemical mixture when suddenly, and without warning, the platform on which he had placed the chemical mixture gave way. In his
rush to get out of the way he knocked off his protective goggles and some of the chemical splashed into his left eye. He immediately felt a mild burning sensation and so whilst the emergency team
cleaned up the lab, he was taken to the company’s health care dept. by the safety officer.  No one else was injured.
The company nurse took him straight to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Guildshire Hospital, Bishops Lane, Guildshire, Surrey, (hospital ref no 56432) where he was given eye medication
and admitted for tests. He was discharged after 2 weeks and was told that he had suffered damage to the back of his left eye but that it was healing nicely. He was further told that if he had any
subsequent discomfort, or loss of vision, he should immediately see his doctor who would refer him to a specialist for further investigations.
Dr. Shah subsequently heard from one of his colleagues, Dr. Williams, that a few days before the accident Dr Williams had complained that the mini platform at which he (Williams) worked, was moving
slightly and was unstable. It had been repaired immediately and Dr.Williams was told that the instability had been caused by the screws becoming loose.
After the accident, Dr.Williams had helped to clean up the lab and had checked Dr. Shah’s mini platform. He found that the screws on that platform were also loose. Dr Shah believes that the loose
screws must have been the cause of his platform collapsing.
Dr Shah believes that his employer, Nortens Limited, were negligent in that they failed to take reasonable care for his health and safety. He wants to pursue a claim for damages for personal
injury.
Dr Shah suffered further discomfort with his left eye and 2 months ago Dr Shah was referred to a specialist who confirmed that his left eye had suffered damage and is slowly losing the ability to
create a sharp image and that he will eventually lose the sight in his left eye. The specialist confirmed that in his opinion this is a direct result of the injury at work when the chemicals
splashed into Dr. Shah’s eye.
Despite this bad news Dr Shah is trying to be positive. He handed in his notice at work last week, has put his house on the market and intends to go travelling for the next 6 months and then settle
in the USA (he has been offered a position as a Lecturer at UCLA in their Biochemistry Department starting in January 2018).
He has also been researching the condition re his left eye on the Internet and he has found that there is a treatment being developed in the USA to try and prevent the loss of sight. This
preventative treatment is not presently available in the UK. The treatment is still in its early stages but he is willing to try anything. The problem is that the treatment is very expensive and he
does not think that he will be able to afford it himself (although he is selling his house in England, he will need that money to purchase somewhere to live in the USA).
Dr Shah wants to sue Nortens Limited for the loss and damage that he has suffered. I advised him that there were a number of matters that need further investigation and that I would contact him to
arrange a further meeting in a few weeks’ time.

 

 

 

 

Attendance note

Date: June 2017
In Attendance:
John HigginsColin Bowerman (Managing director of Bowerman Limited)
Re: Mr Martin Skinner

 

Bowerman limited are builders specialising in the design, manufacture and installation of high quality kitchens. The company entered a written agreement dated 4 November 2016 (copy not provided)
with Mr Martin Skinner to provide and install a new luxury kitchen at  Mr Skinner’s home at Hightrees House, 27 Rose Gardens, Twickenham TW1 2RT for the total cost of £30,000 plus Vat of £6,000.
Works were due to commence on 14th February with payments to be made by Mr Skinner as follows:
1. £12,500 on 4th November 20162. £12, 500 on 28th February 20173. £11,000 within 7 days of completion.
The works were completed on 24th March 2017 so payment of the balance was due on or before 31 March 2017.
To date despite numerous chaser calls and letters payment has not been made.
Bowerman Limited wish to issue a claim for the balance due plus interest as soon as possible.