On 13 April 2015 Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 came into force, allowing a Defendant to apply for dismissal of a personal injury claim on the basis that the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest.
This Section applies to proceeding where the Court finds the Claimant is entitled to recover damages, but the Defendant makes an application for the claim to be dismissed due to the Claimant’s fundamental dishonesty.
If a Court finds that the Claimant has been fundamentally dishonest, for example by exaggerating part of the claim, then under the Act it can dismiss the whole of the claim, not only the part which was exaggerated. If a claim is dismissed the Claimant will be ordered to pay the Defendants’s cost, less what they would have been awarded in damages.
To date, there is insufficient case law to say exactly what will constitute fundamental dishonesty. It does, however, highlight that it is even more important that Claimants instruct solicitors whom they trust and will not place pressure on them to artificially inflate the value of their claim.