No win, no fee claim news

Work accident decision is significant

The House of Lords this month made a potentially significant decision when it ruled that a council could not be considered strictly liable for the no win, no fee claim of one of its care workers who suffered personal injury as a result of a faulty equipment at a client's home.

The Law Lords decided that employers must have control over the equipment to be considered liable. As the NHS, not the council, installed the wheelchair ramp on which the worker suffered injury the ruling meant that the no win, no fee claim for work accident compensation was resolved in the council's favour.

An insurance specialists commented on the importance of the ruling, saying, "This comes as a massive relief to just about every business and organisation you care to mention.

"It would have had wide ranging implications, and meant employers making extra provision for unforeseen risk.

"The Law Lords made another, crucial, point, saying employers who have no control over equipment that causes an injury should not be liable, even if they have inspected the equipment as part of a risk assessment."

It had been argued by the claimant's personal injury solicitor that the council should be liable under the terms of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). However, these attempts to justify the no win, no fee claim have now failed at the final stage of appeal.


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