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all bets are off! stag party ordered to pay costs for fundamental dishonesty

29 March 2018

A group of 17 men on a stag party have been ordered to pay a combined sum of £68,000 in legal fees following a finding of fundamental dishonesty.

The group of men were on their way to a stag party when the mini-bus they were travelling in was involved in a minor, low speed, accident. Despite initially indicating that no-one involved had been injured, the insurer of the other party involved soon received 20 personal injury claims. Suspicion lead to investigations to determine whether such a minor collision had genuinely resulted in the injuries alleged. Results showed the members of the stag party on social media apparently having a jolly day out at the races and showing no obvious signs of injury or limitation. The claims were robustly defended and dismissed at trial, with findings of fundamental dishonesty made.

This is yet another reminder that claims should not be brought lightly. There can be significant repercussions, with costs orders as occurred here, or criminal sanctions. Decisions such as this will act as a deterrent, but will not entirely prevent fraudulent claims being brought and defendants will want to be alive to the next attempt – with persuasive evidence it has been seen that courts are perfectly prepared to make appropriate (even if severe) rulings.

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