Holiday sickness claims and fixed costs

The minutes of the Rule Committee’s February meeting show some progress on holiday sickness claims. The core idea to extend fixed recoverable costs to these cases has been on its agenda since late last year, following the Ministerial announcement last year.

Proposed changes to fixed costs (CPR Part 45) seek to apply PL costs to these cases. A relevant pre-action protocol (PAP) is still in draft form – very probably based on the general personal injury PAP – and being worked up between the Committee and the Civil Justice Council. Some CPR points also need clarification, for example the application of Part 36 offers and the overlap with small claims (Part 27).

The recently published February minutes strongly suggest that the intention is still to bring the changes into force this April. Minutes are not yet available from the 2 March meeting and the next meeting takes place on 13 April. Given that a statutory instrument – which has to follow a defined Parliamentary timetable – is required to change rules on procedure and costs, there is some possibility that the proposed introduction of fixed costs for holiday sickness claims in April 2018 could slip. We will report any further developments soon as we can.

Co-written by Alistair Kinley, BLM’s director of policy and government affairs, and partner Sarah Hill

A five million pound question: whether to claim in English or Spanish courts?

Godfrey Keefe was on holiday in Tenerife in October 2006. He was sitting by a hotel swimming pool when the pointed end of an unsecured parasol, lifted by a gust of wind, penetrated his right eye socket and caused him serious brain injury. Subject to liability, his claim would be worth around £5 million pounds if quantified under English law. It would, however, be worth around a tenth of that amount (between €600,000 and €800,000) if quantified under Spanish law.

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