A personal injury solicitor says his client waited weeks for damages due to him in October as the identity of the insurer in the case was concealed.
Paul Mulderrig, of north west firm Mulderrigs Solicitors, represented amateur footballer Paul Shipley (pictured) at Newcastle Combined Court in October where it was ordered that another footballer Lee Simpson pay around £22,000 damages and £60,000 costs. Simpson had contested the claim, which related to a a fractured left tibia incurred in a tackle on Shipley in 2013.
Despite the judgment ordering payment to Shipley’s solicitors by 28 October, no amounts were immediately forthcoming.
Mulderrig said the defendant firm in the case, Kennedys, working under the terms of an insurance policy issued to Durham County Football Association Ltd, had refused to reveal the identity of Simpson’s insurers. This made it harder to find out whom to pursue for the outstanding money.
Mulderrig told the Gazette: ’As a matter of principle, where a solicitor represents an insurer who has stepped into litigation they ought not to be allowed to keep the identity of that insurer secret as has happened here.
‘The conduct of the insurer has a direct impact on the amount of cost and work that a claimant is put to during the course of the case – in this case the insurer’s unreasonable conduct added many thousands of pounds to the costs of the action – and the claimant ought to know the identity of the insurer putting him to that cost.’
Mulderrig said his client, who worked as a draughtsman and was expecting his first child at the time of the match, has never returned to football and the injury has had a long-lasting impact on his life.
He had attempted to negotiate a settlement over the past three years but Mulderrig says the defendants rejected all invitations.
Despite several emails to Kennedys, no payment was made until last week, when around a quarter of the sum was transferred. Mulderrig said £60,000 was still outstanding four weeks after the court-imposed deadline.
A spokesman for Kennedys confirmed that it acted in Shipley v Simpson and said the claimant’s damages were paid last week.
He added: ‘We have asked the loss adjuster involved in the claim to expedite the costs payment to Mulderiggs Solicitors and have continued to chase for payment to be made, as we are not authorised to make this payment on the client’s behalf. We have also kept Mr Mulderigg updated on what we have been doing to press for costs payment. Client confidentiality prevents us from sharing the name of our client but we can confirm that there is no conflict of interest in this case.’