Tuesday, November 28th, 2023

Mujahid Ali & Talib Hussain v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance LTD [2023] SC EDI 35

James Hastie successfully represented the defender, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd, at this hearing to determine the issue of expenses.

The defender sought awards of expenses against the pursuers on the grounds that they had not acted in an appropriate manner in their conduct of their cases by (a) making fraudulent representations and/or (b) behaving in a manner which was manifestly unreasonable.

The case concerned a low velocity RTA where the pursuers were the driver and front seat passenger in a stationary car. Both claimed to have been injured as a result of the collision. The cases were conjoined for the purposes of proof. The defender obtained decrees of absolvitor with the Sheriff finding that neither pursuer was credible or reliable on a number of aspects of their evidence.

At the expenses hearing the pursuers (represented by Andrew Bergin, also of Compass) argued that the threshold for removing the protection of QOCS was deliberately high, and that to satisfy that test in relation to fraudulent representation the defender had to establish that the pursuers had deliberately acted to mislead the court.

The Sheriff agreed with that test and found that, having decided the pursuers were not credible in their evidence, he was satisfied that on the balance of probabilities the test was met. Separately, he found the pursuers had behaved in a manner which was manifestly unreasonable and found both pursuers liable to the defenders in expenses for both the proof and hearing on expenses.

The full judgment can be read here.

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