Drugs, damages and distinguishing Delaney

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal again examined the legal consequences of an injury to a passenger caused by the driving of a uninsured car that was being used to supply drugs. The same Court had, in Delaney v Pickett in 2011, held that a particular clause in the MIB’s agreement operated to bar a civil claim for damages in such circumstances. In the current case, it also barred the claim for damages but for a quite different reason.  Continue reading

London, Paris, Rome: another key case on applicable law

A decision of the High Court in London in late November in a claim arising from an accident in Paris further develops our understanding of Rome II, the EU regulation which sets out the rules for deciding which substantive national law should apply to tort claims involving foreign elements.

In this case, the judge had to decide on the law applying to claims arising from a fatal motorway traffic accident outside Paris in summer 2012 that involved a French uninsured driver (and hence the UK MIB as proxy for its French counterpart), the English owner and passenger (who was killed in the accident) of a broken-down English-registered Fiesta, and a French recovery truck.

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Faux amis? – the saga of Setanta

Language teachers refer to faux amis, or false friends, as those words which appear the same in different languages but which in fact have very different meanings.

The ostensibly similar motor insurance regimes of the UK & Ireland were examined by the Irish High Court on 4 September 2015 in connection with Setanta Insurance. Both countries’ regimes give effect to the EU Motor Insurance Directives. Both regimes set out the scopes of (a) their respective Motor Insurers’ Bureaux’ obligations and (b) of their respective insurance compensation funds.

Setanta, which offered motor policies in Ireland, went into liquidation in April 2014. Some 1,700 to 2,000 claims were outstanding, valued in aggregate at around €90 million. Had the insolvency happened in the UK, the FSCS would have picked up the claims in full, with the UK’s MIB having no role. The question for Mr Justice Hedigan in the Setanta case (Law Society of Ireland v MIBI) was where, as a matter of Irish law, should the liability for these claims lie? Should they fall to the general insurance insolvency compensation scheme or should they be met by the MIBI?

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