“Use of vehicle” to receive further judicial scrutiny in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal in R&S Pilling v UK Insurance. The claim stems from a fire, caused by Mr Holden welding has stationary car in order to rectify defects reported in a failed MoT test, which severely damaged the claimant’s building. The case turns on whether welding the car was “use” of the vehicle for the purposes of compulsory insurance (as required by section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988). It is difficult to predict when the Supreme Court might hear the case but the fact that it will very much keeps the debate on “use” a very live topic.

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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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