• Successfully defended a claim for damages for personal injury. The Claimant alleged he had tripped and fallen over a defective stop tap chamber lid which had a broken lock, thereby sustaining injury to his left hand. 
  • Defended a fatal claim for damages for mesothelioma brought by the widow of a former employee of the Defendant. The Defendant is unable to trace its insurers for the whole of the alleged exposure period and we are instructed to defend the claim on its behalf.
  • Defended a litigated claim for damages for asbestosis brought by a former employee of the Defendant. The Defendant is unable to trace its insurers for the majority of the alleged exposure period and we were instructed to act in respect of that period. 
  • Defended a claim for damages made by an employee who fell from a ladder at work and sustained head and back injuries. The client was self-insured for claims of this nature and we were instructed to defend the claim on its behalf.
  • Defended a public liability claim for damages for personal injury. The Claimant alleged that he slipped on ice formed on a drain cover set into the road which was caused by a leak from the sewer system. Detailed investigations into the layout of the network and the precise location of long-standing blockages and sewer pipe damage established that the water on the cover could not have been caused by these problems. The Claimant’s medical history and inconsistencies in his account of the accident and his medical treatment also raised major doubts over causation and the claim was strongly repudiated. The claim was discontinued with costs after the exchange of witness statements.
  • Advised on a claim for damages for a back injury sustained by the Claimant allegedly as a result of her slipping and falling when she was visiting the Defendant’s premises as a lawful visitor. We were instructed to advise upon liability and causation, contributory negligence, limitation and quantum and the potential consequences for the client if they chose to defend this claim to trial without the backing of its public liability insurer.
  • Geldards was instructed to advise a client upon its insurance broker’s alleged failure to arrange adequate road traffic insurance cover, which resulted in potential criminal, personal injury and breach of contract issues for our client. We dealt with the potential criminal RTA and personal injury issues, and also conducted the initial work in respect of the breach of contract and insurance issues before handing it over to our Dispute Resolution Department. The matter is potentially worth over £100,000 in respect of uninsured personal injuries, damage to the client’s property, damage and disruption to the motorway, loss of earnings due to the incurrence of a criminal offence and third party legal costs.
  • A former employee brought a claim in respect of an alleged foot injury sustained when carrying out renovation work on premises not covered by the client’s EL insurance policy. The claim was stated as being worth in excess of £100,000 inclusive of costs and it threatened the survival of the family owned retail business. After careful scrutiny of the evidence and in particular the Claimant’s medical report and medical records, the claim was strenuously denied in detail at the pre-action stage and for tactical reasons a defendant pre-action disclosure application was threatened in order to successfully force a discontinuance just before proceedings were due to be issued.
  • A litigated claim was brought by a Claimant who was badly injured by a falling box which was dislodged by three of the client’s employees at an external Christmas works party. The Client’s own insurers refused to cover the claim on the basis that the employees were “on frolics of their own” and therefore the client/policyholder was not vicariously liable. The client nevertheless wished to protect their employees from the claim. After investigations, the claim was swiftly settled on favourable terms as instructed by the client at an early stage in the proceedings to minimise costs. The EL insurer was kept updated and authorised every element of the settlement, subject to the ongoing coverage issue.
  • Geldards were instructed to assist a client with its subsidiary rationalisation programme and specifically to advise upon and implement a strategy for transferring liability for payment of outstanding uninsured employer liability claims from a number of subsidiary companies to a holding company by deed poll in order to complete the liquidation of the subsidiary companies. This has involved liaison with the Liquidator and his legal advisors.
  • Geldards were instructed to undertake a due diligence exercise on behalf of a client and were required to audit a sample of RTA, Employer Liability, Public Liability and Clinical Negligence claims within a Claimant PI firm identified for potential acquisition. We were then required to value the recoverability of the work in progress on those claims and report on our findings at Board level.
  • Geldards were initially instructed to defend a claim for asbestosis and noise induced hearing loss made by a former employee. Both claims were uninsured as the client was unable to trace its employer liability insurers for the period of alleged employment/exposure. This led to us being instructed to attend the client’s premises to review historic claims/employee records and corporate governance records and undertake a corporate and insurance archaeology investigation. A detailed report on our findings was then submitted to the Managing Director and In-House Counsel.
  • Geldards were instructed to defend a claim for damages for mesothelioma which is being conducted in the Royal Courts of Justice Asbestos List before Master Gidden. The Claimant alleges her deceased husband contracted mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos whilst employed by our client’s subsidiary between the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. We advised upon breach of duty and foreseeability and recently successfully defended a show cause hearing, the Master accepting that there are triable issues on liability in this claim on the basis that the risk of asbestos exposure causing mesothelioma was not known at the time of the deceased’s alleged exposure. The defence of this claim will necessitate expert engineering evidence. We are also instructed to investigate the possibility of seeking a contribution from other negligence employers.
  • Geldards defended a claim against a claimant who alleged her foot got caught in a water cover causing her to fall to the ground and suffer an injury to her right shoulder, both knees and her right foot. We argued on behalf of the client that the broken stop tap cover could not have been detected unless its cover had been lifted for inspection, or alternatively pressed down in a very particular way, and that in all of the circumstances it would be unreasonable to expect local authority highways inspectors to examine every cover during routine highways inspections. The Claimant eventually discontinued her claim with costs just two weeks prior to trial.
  • Defended a claim for damages for mesothelioma brought by the deceased’s widow. It was alleged that the deceased had been employed by and exposed to asbestos by our client, a manufacturing company. Proceedings were issued out of the Royal Courts of Justice. The claim was wholly uninsured and we were instructed to defend the interests of our client. We advised that the claim should be repudiated on the basis that the client’s company was not incorporated until after the deceased’s period of alleged employment had begun and was not known in that name during the deceased’s period of alleged employment. The Claimant’s solicitors had clearly issued proceedings against the wrong company. Following service of our Defence, the Claimant discontinued her action with an Order for costs. We were unable to agree our costs with the Claimant’s solicitors and submitted our Bill for provisional assessment. The Claimant made a Part 36 offer in respect of our costs but the costs awarded on provisional assessment were in excess of the Claimant’s offer and the costs of the provisional assessment were also paid by the Claimant.
  • A claim for noise induced hearing loss and is one of a number of claims made against the client in which we made a successful application for summary judgment against the Claimant with an Order for costs. In this action, the Claimant alleged that he had been employed by and exposed to excessive noise by the client. We were instructed to defend the claim and advised that it should be repudiated on the basis that the Claimant’s National Insurance Contributions Schedule confirmed that he had not been employed by the client between the dates alleged or at all. The allegations against the client were poorly particularised. After service of the Defence we invited the Claimant to discontinue his action against our client. When he failed to do so, we made a successful application for the claim to be struck out/for summary judgment against the Claimant on the basis that the Particulars of Claim failed to disclose a reasonable cause of action. The Claimant was also ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs.

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Donna Makin

DONNA MAKIN

Partner, Cardiff

+44 (0)29 2039 1749
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