DEFENDANT COUNTERCLAIMING EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AGAINST FRAUDULENT CLAIMANTS: AN INTERESTING REPORT

There is a report in the DWF update section of the case of Akhtar & Khan -v- Ball, a decision of HHJ Gregory on 10.7.15. It raises an interesting issue in relation to a counterclaim by a defendant faced with a fraudulent claim. The defendant counterclaimed claiming damages in the tort of deceit and was awarded £3,000.

THE CASE

The claimants sought damages from the defendant. The defendant argued that the first claimant had deliberately caused the accident, the second claimant was not in the vehicle and that the force of the accident was insufficient to cause injury.

THE DEFENCE AND COUNTERCLAIM

In addition to counterclaiming the defendant counterclaimed in the tort of deceit for exemplary damages, relying on the case of Kuddus -v- Chief Constable of Leicestershire [2001] UKHL 29.

THE FINDING

The judge found that the claims were fraudulent and the claimants were fundamentally dishonest, QOCS was, therefore, disapplied.

THE COUNTERCLAIM IN DECEIT

The judge is reported as saying that he could not “see for the life of me why these claims do not satisfy the tort of deceit”.  He held that this was a cause for exemplary damages and ordered that the claimants pay the defendant damages of £3,000 within 21 days.

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