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Friend v Gristwood & Toms, Dartford County Court, 30 November 2009

22 January 2010
The issues

Damages – costs of repairs to vehicle – evidence – standard of proof.

The facts

The Claimant issued proceedings resulting from a road traffic accident which occurred on the 2nd March 2009.  When proceedings were issued liability was in dispute but prior to the filing of a Defence, following further enquiries, liability was admitted.
The Defendants requested copies of documents in support of the sums being claimed which, apart from a small sum for incidental expenses, consisted of the cost of the repairs to the Claimant’s vehicle, including the excess.  Despite numerous requests for this supporting documentation it was never produced.  The Claimant should,14 days prior to the Trial, have filed at Court and served on the Defendants copies of all documents on which they intended to rely.  No documents were received by the Defendant.

The decision

As liability had been formally admitted, the Deputy Distinct Judge entered Judgment for the Claimant but, as the repair invoice had not been produced, awarded “nil” damages. In addition, the Claimant was ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs from the date of the admission of liability.

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