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Norman v Knowles Stourbridge, County Court, 6 November 2003

24 November 2003
The issues

Costs – RTA – each party equally to blame.

The facts

The Claimant was injured in a road traffic accident on the 19th April 2002 and claimed damages. The District Judge apportioned liability equally and gave Judgment to the Claimant for half of the agreed damages. The Defendant had not made a Part 36 Payment. The Judge ordered that each party should bear its own costs on the grounds that the Claimant’s evidence at Trial had differed from his pleaded case and his pre-action letter of claim. On this basis, he decided to depart from the general rule that costs should follow the event. The Claimant appealed on the basis that the judge had erred in the exercise of his discretion.

The decision

It was not generally for an Appellate Court to substitute its own Judgment for that of the Court below. The District Judge had been best placed to take a view as to costs. It was for the Claimant to persuade the Court that the District Judge had exercised his discretion wrongly.
The Judge had considered the relevant factors and the Order was within his discretion.

Appeal dismissed.


For further information please contact Marie Macfarlane at mariemacfarlane@veitchpenny.co.uk or Harry Steinberg of Counsel at Steinberg@12KBW.co.uk.

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