Meadows vs La Tasca - when 'case not proven' does not mean a claimant is being dishonest.
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I was pleased to read this week that common sense has prevailed in the case of Meadows v La Tasca.
The Claimant advised that she had sustained a personal injury at the Defendant restaurant after slipping on a greasy substance on the floor. The Defendant argued that it had no record of the incident. At First Instance, the District Judge found against the Claimant and declared her to be fundamentally dishonest.
The Court held that qualified one –way cost shifting should be disapplied, which allowed La Tasca to claim its costs from Ms Meadows, amounting to £7,210. To add insult to injury, as the Claimant was found to be dishonest, her ATE (After the event) insurer withdrew cover leaving her with a personal liability.
The Claimant's solicitors successfully appealed the finding of fundamental dishonesty and the Court overturned the order for the Claimant to pay the Defendant's costs, ordering the Defendant to pay the Claimant's costs of the appeal.
I completely endorse the words of the Claimant's solicitor, James Maxey who said, "This is a worrying tactic being deployed by Defendants where a Claimant simply fails to prove their claim at trial". I consider that the appeal was correctly decided and it sends a clear message that for a finding of dishonesty to be made, there needs to be evidence which amounts to more than a Claimant merely failing to meet the required standard of proof.
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