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Hulfe & Others v Briate Chambers & Another, Queen's Bench Division

21 May 2001
The issues

Road Traffic Accident In Greece – Action Brought In United Kingdom – Whether English Or Greek Law To Prevail With Regard To The Assessment Of Damages.

The facts

The Claimant was one of three passengers in a car driven by the First Defendant when it collided with an incoming vehicle. The Claimant suffered serious injuries.

Liability was admitted. It was accepted by all parties that the applicable law was Greek law and that it recognised that claims by the Claimant for general damages, special damages and financial loss as legitimate heads of claim. However, in an English Court a Claimant might expect £125,000.00 in respect of general damages whereas a Greek Court would award a much lower sum. Moreover a Greek Court would not award a final amount but an interim sum which would be with an Order for instalment payments open to review. The question to be decided by the Court was whether or not Greek law should determine the amount to be awarded and the way in which it was to be awarded.

The decision

Although Greek law was the applicable law in respect of whether there was a claim or not, the assessment of the claim was to be made by reference to English law and not Greek law.

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