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Landmark judgment in Hadley v Przybylo: Claimant's victory in catastrophic injury case

Landmark judgment in Hadley v Przybylo: Claimant's victory in catastrophic injury case


The Court of Appeal's ruling in Hadley v Przybylo sets a precedent for recovering rehabilitation-related costs

In a landmark decision eagerly awaited by legal professionals and stakeholders in the field of personal injury law, the Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in Hadley v Przybylo. The outcome of this case marks a significant win for claimants, particularly those involved in catastrophic injury claims, as it addresses the recoverability of costs associated with rehabilitation.

Chris Barnes KC from Exchange Chambers, who represented the claimant in this case, emphasised the importance of the judgment, stating that it addresses a point of potentially real significance in handling catastrophic injury claims. At the heart of the matter was whether a claimant's solicitor could recover the costs incurred in attending meetings connected with the claimant's rehabilitation, including those with case managers or financial deputies.

Initially, Master McCloud ruled against the claimant, stating that such costs were not progressive and therefore not recoverable. However, the Court of Appeal unanimously sided with the claimant on both grounds of appeal. They found that the test applied by the Master was incorrect and that these costs are indeed recoverable in principle.

During the proceedings, the Court considered extensive evidence regarding the role, scope, and interaction of solicitors, case managers, and deputies. Despite this evidence, the Court ultimately deemed it of limited relevance to the principle in question.

Chris Barnes KC hailed the judgment as a significant victory for claimants and their rehabilitation efforts. He highlighted that the ruling not only restores the position prior to the initial hearing but also prevents defendants from challenging these costs on principle.

Furthermore, the Court's decision to adhere to the approach of In Re Gibson’s Settlement Trusts steers away from a potentially narrower 'progressive' test, which had gained prominence in recent times. The judgment also provides helpful guidance on the placement of such costs within the budgeting phase.

The legal team representing the claimant, comprised of Chris Barnes KC and Matthew Stockwell from Exchange Chambers, were instructed by Simon Roberts and Elen Roberts from Gamlins Solicitors.

The judgment, handed down remotely on March 15, 2024, marks a significant development in personal injury law. It clarifies the recoverability of rehabilitation-related costs and underscores the importance of facilitating claimants' access to necessary support and assistance throughout their recovery journey.

The case of Hadley v Przybylo serves as a reminder of the legal profession's commitment to ensuring fair treatment and just outcomes for individuals affected by catastrophic injuries. It reaffirms the pivotal role of the courts in interpreting and upholding principles that promote access to justice and support the rehabilitation efforts of those who have suffered serious harm.

In conclusion, the Court of Appeal's decision in Hadley v Przybylo represents a significant milestone in the ongoing evolution of personal injury law. By affirming the recoverability of rehabilitation-related costs, the judgment provides clarity and certainty for claimants and legal practitioners alike, ensuring that the pursuit of justice remains a cornerstone of the legal system.

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