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Fundamental dishonesty – surveillance instrumental in securing dismissal under s.57 CJCA

3 July 2017
In Peter Stanton v Henry Hunter, Recorder Hatfield QC found that the claimant, who had knowingly provided false instructions to medical experts and had been shown in surveillance evidence to have returned to work with no limitation of movement in his left shoulder as alleged, had been fundamentally dishonest.

Even though the defendant had admitted primary liability, the claimant’s deliberate exaggerations and falsehoods were sufficient to trigger the court’s duty to dismiss the case in its entirety under s.57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. The claimant lost his entitlement to damages in respect of both the honest part and dishonest parts of his claim and also Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) protection.

This decision should give heart to defendants when faced with dishonest claimants: defendants do not need to ‘roll over and accept defeat’ when concerns about a claimant’s veracity are supported by evidence. Even in cases where liability has been admitted, use of the right counter-fraud strategies can secure a good outcome.

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