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Personal Injury Law Journal: July/August 2011

Bill Braithwaite QC gives an invaluable insight into current litigation trends

In my last article I mentioned the case of Jones v Kaney [2011], in which the Supreme Court decided that expert witnesses could be sued for negligence.

Dr Walter Busuttil provides an update in relation to post traumatic stress disorder, Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-V) and personal injury litigation

In the USA, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) is currently being re-written with the fifth edition expected in the next 12 to 18 months.

looks at recent decisions concerning the line to be drawn between personal responsibility and the liability of others Julian Matthews

In first world societies, the majority live lives that are generally protected from harm by all manner of social structures and institutions. We expect the health service to protect us from the consequence of physical and mental illness, and public health services to provide a risk-controlled environment without rampant pests or diseases. We expect to be protected from crime, and this now includes the criminalisation of anti-social activities such as noisy neighbours or fly-tippers. We expect to have protection of our rights to privacy and family life from the state. All of these areas give rise to litigation when the protection provided falls short of expectations.

Shilpa Shah examines the difficult relationship between allocation and costs recovery

While one of the aims of allocation was to enable the principle of proportionality to be dovetailed into the costs rules appropriate for each track, disputes continue to arise when the damages recovered in a claim fall far short of expectations and would have justified allocation to a lower track.

Lisa Sullivan and Martyn Mcleish offer practical tips on how to navigate claims where allegations of exaggeration may arise

The behaviour and lifestyle of clients often presents their representatives with problems. A client may have a pre-existing history of ‘bad’ behaviour, or their conduct of the claim may lead to allegations of exaggeration/malingering/fraud. The aim of this article is to review the different problems that arise, and suggest some ways in which the issues can be dealt with.

Paul Jones discusses the prospects of appeal following a summary assessment of costs

Most case law dealing with the assessment of costs takes place in the context of Detailed Assessment. However, for many cases, costs are assessed, not at Detailed Assessment, but at Summary Assessment. The recent case of Naylor v Monahan & anor [2011] gives helpful guidance on the procedure to be adopted and the court’s approach to appeals against summary assessment.

Liability of parent company; duty of care; asbestosis

To what extent can a parent company be responsible for the torts of its wholly-owned subsidiary? In the case of Chandler v Cape plc [2011], the principle in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd [1897], which forbids ‘piercing the corporate veil’ was circumvented by an investigation into the facts that established that the defendant parent company had exercised sufficient control over its subsidiary to assume a duty towards an employee of that subsidiary.