Roberts v SAAFA & Allgemeines Krakenhaus Viersen: an ongoing cross border claim from 20 years ago

Harry Roberts’s case arose out of brain damage sustained during his birth in Germany in June 2000. Infant brain injury cases can be among the most expensive claims if, as is usual, there is a high annual care need and a lengthy life expectancy. This case has added complications because of the cross-border setting and because of a dispute on limitation despite the claimant’s minority.

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Accidents abroad and applicable law – recent Court of Appeal decision

Just over a year ago, the High Court delivered its decision in Pickard and Marshall v Generali and others. The case involved a road traffic accident in France in which two English residents, Marshall and Pickard, were injured (Mr Marshall died from his injuries) in a collision caused by an uninsured French driver colliding with Mr Pickard’s stationary car (insured with RSA) and forcing it against another French vehicle (insured with Generali). The question of the applicable law was appealed and a decision on the point was given on 19 January 2017.

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Motor accidents abroad: “compensation on a consistent basis, by reference to the law of the state of the accident” – Lord Mance

In its judgment today in Moreno v The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, it could be argued that the Supreme Court used its decision in a case about interpreting a regulation specific to the MIB to make a wider point. That point is that English law (and Scottish & Northern Irish laws) should approach the arrangements in the European Motor Insurance Directives for compensating victims so as to provide compensation on a consistent basis regardless of how any particular claim might be pursued.

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