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Molloy v Shell UK Limited, Court of Appeal

16 July 2001
The issues

Costs- Deliberate Exaggeration Of Injuries By The Claimant – Abuse of Civil Proceedings – Costs Consequences

The facts

The Claimant sued the Defendant for personal injuries. He worked as a scaffolder on an oil platform in the North Sea and fell on a ramp injuring his back. He claimed loss of earnings. He had attempted to mitigate by unsuccessfully re-training as a bus driver and a forklift truck driver.

Liability was admitted. A Payment Into Court of £20,000.00 was made. A schedule of loss claiming over £300,000.00 was served. Days before Trial Defendant discovered that Claimant had returned to the oil platform as a scaffolder and had worked there on a fairly regular basis for three years. The claim had been grossly and deliberately exaggerated. The award was less than the amount paid into Court
by the Defendant. The Judge ordered the Claimant to pay 75% of the Defendant’s costs.

The Defendant appealed.

The decision

The Judge was obliged under Civil Procedure Rules Part 44.35 to consider the Claimant’s conduct. The Court process had been abused. The Claimant had been grossly dishonest and given that the Payment Into Court had not been beaten the only way in which the Judge’s discretion should have been exercised was to award the Defendant all of its costs.

NB The Claimant was not represented and did not appear.

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