The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal a decision which insurers said left them facing a glut of potentially questionable claims.
The court has granted the application on behalf of insurer LV= to settle the Cameron v Hussain case, in which a claimant brought proceedings against the registered keeper of a car due to the driver being unidentified.
While judgment was initially obtained against the claimant, there followed two appeals. The second, which was successful, saw Lady Justice Gloster uphold the challenge of a driver who claimed for up to £15,000 following a collision in Leeds.
The vehicle was registered to Naveed Hussain but all parties accepted that he was not the driver at the time of the collision. The vehicle was also subject of a motor insurance policy written by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co, but the insured turned out to be a fictitious person.
The registered owner refused to provide information about the driver and has since been convicted of failing to provide information.
In her judgment, Gloster said there was no requirement in Civil Procedure Rules that a defendant be named, merely a direction that they ‘should’ be.
Insurers said the Court of Appeal decision set a precedent which could open the floodgates to fraudulent claims, although Gloster specifically rejected this argument.
Damian Ward, partner at national firm Keoghs, which represents LV=, says the Supreme Court hearing will be a chance to establish exactly where insurers stand.
‘This is a positive step towards overturning the Court of Appeal’s original decision which has left insurers in a state of limbo,’ he said. ‘We will now begin the process of ensuring these ramifications are fully considered and an informed decision made at the upcoming appeal.’
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear another important personal injury case, Edmondson v Haven, in February next year over two days.
North-west firm Gavin Edmondson Solicitors alleged that Haven Insurance acted unlawfully in making direct offers to clients in 2012. The law firm lost in the High Court in November 2014 but yesterday successfully appealed that decision.