A personal injury claimant has suffered a double blow in the High Court, losing his own appeal and being found fundamentally dishonest.
Taxi driver Mansur Haider had challenged the decision of Birmingham County Court last year to dismiss his claim for damages arising out of a road traffic accident back in 2014.
The defendant in Haider v DSM Demolition Ltd had unsuccessfully argued in the county court that Haider’s accident was staged, with His Honour Judge Tindal finding the claimant was ‘basically an honest man’ who struggled to recall an incident so long ago.
Both elements were appealed: Haider saying the judge failed to give adequate reasons for his decision, and the defendant saying the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest over information provided as background to his £30,000 credit hire bill.
Mr Justice Julian Knowles, sitting in the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division), dismissed Haider’s appeal, finding the claimant failed to discharge the burden of proving the other driver in the collision was negligent. Although the county court trial lasted less than a day, and HHJ Tindal’s judgment ran to 11 paragraphs, these were ‘straightforward’ issues which did not need a long or elaborate ruling, albeit the judge’s reasoning ‘could have been more fully expressed’.
On the issue of credit hire, Haider was found fundamentally dishonest and lost the protection of qualified one-way costs shifting (effectively shouldering the burden for the defendant’s costs).
It was found when he presented the credit hire claim that he failed to disclose having two credit cards, which ‘skewed and distorted’ the presentation in a way that could only be termed fundamentally dishonest.
Knowles J said: ‘There was simply no basis on which the judge could properly have concluded that the claimant had simply got confused on these issues.
‘The only possible reasonable inference from the evidence was that the claimant intentionally failed to make full disclosure, and that failure can only be labelled as dishonest.’