Another cross-border claim heads to the Supreme Court

Over a year ago we wrote about the outcome of the initial appeal in Roberts v SSAFA & AKV, a birth-related injury claim dating back to 2000 which turned on highly involved cross-border litigation issues. At the heart of it is the question of the applicable law between the two defendants (one a British charity and the other a German hospital, both of which had provided medical treatment when the claimant was born).

The previous blog summarised the complex legal points and speculated that the Court of Appeal’s decision last July might not mark the end of the proceedings. That has now proved to be so. The Supreme Court’s website noted, on 17 September, that permission to appeal had been granted back in July. However, the case name now refers just to the two defendants, which strongly suggests (a) that any remaining live issues are only as between them and (b) that the Roberts family’s claim may finally have been resolved. Assuming the issues to be argued before the Supreme Court are the same ones we summarised last year, it looks like the eventual decision about them should be an important one.

Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs

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E-scooters: getting you up to speed

Last summer the government acted to permit the use of hired e-scooters in pre-approved local authority areas in England & Wales. There are now over 30 trials taking place, with a scheme in London finally taking off this July. Aside from these trials, which are due to run until March 2022, road use of privately-owned scooters remains illegal and while various police forces have run targeted enforcement and seizure campaigns, ever-increasing numbers of the public seem happy to flout the ban (or may not even be aware of it) and ride on the roads and on the pavements.

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E-scooter incident data due to be published by government before year end

Recent news points to useful data relating to e-scooters becoming available over the next few months.

First is the statement last week from DfT Roads Minister Rachel MacLean that “We intend to publish data on e-scooters and other vehicle types which can be reliably identified from the free text field [in the STATS19 accident database used by police forces] alongside the annual Reported Road Casualties Great Britain statistics publication in September 2021. In the future, the STATS19 data collection system will be amended so that e-scooters (and similar) can be identified as a vehicle type”. Second is Ms MacLean’s confirmation just yesterday that in respect of the ongoing e-scooter trials, “An interim report summarizing findings from the data collected so far will be published in autumn 2021, with a final report due in spring 2022.”

We’ll be looking out for that interim report and will of course post our analysis of the DfT’s interim findings on this blog just as soon as we can after publication.

Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM