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

Secondary victims & psychiatric harm: update on appeals in December

In a brief blog in June we noted that two secondary victim claims, both clinical negligence cases, will be considered together by the Court of Appeal in December. We now know that a third clinical case is also involved, again in the context of an allegedly negligent diagnosis followed by a family member witnessing the subsequent onset of harm. This third case is Purchase v Ahmed, a decision of HHJ Lumb last May in which he struck out the claim “not without some considerable regret [because] the circumstances of Mrs Purchase’s case do not come within the parameters of a permissible and actionable secondary victim claim.”

He noted that he was bound by the Court of Appeal’s decision in Taylor v Novo, which is authority for the proposition that the relevant “event” for the purposes of a secondary victim’s claim is the initial accident or negligence and not the later manifestation of harm as witnessed by the family member and which causes psychiatric harm. That separation in time meant that the secondary victim’s claim would fail for want of proximity. HHJ Lumb added that “the only way that Taylor can be overturned as a binding authority on this Court is by a different conclusion being reached by the Supreme Court or by Parliament changing the law. Neither of those appear realistic prospects in the foreseeable future.” It is possible that the outcome of the three cases before the Court of Appeal could alter those prospects and therefore the appeal should definitely be on the radar of insurers and clinical compensators alike.

Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM
alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com

‘Dispute Resolution in England and Wales: Call for Evidence’

This initiative was launched on Tuesday 3 August and, despite its very bland title, it may well have the potential to reshape fundamentally how vastly differing types of non-criminal cases, claims and disputes are resolved in England and Wales.

The breadth of the initiative is illustrated (a) by it being co-sponsored by the all the Heads of the Courts and Tribunals divisions and by the Secretary of State for Justice and his Ministerial colleague in the Lords and (b) by this very clear aspiration set out in their joint foreword: “A quarter of a century after the Woolf report, litigation is still far from the last resort and too many cases still go through the court process unnecessarily. The provision of dispute resolution schemes remains patchy … more still needs to be done to increase uptake of less adversarial options.”

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