Day 144, week 30: losing the unlosable

They say that some cases are unlosable and of those that are, infant settlements come pretty near the top.  You rock up at court, tell the judge the case has settled and hand him counsel’s opinion saying that the settlement is reasonable.  Couldn’t be more simple.  Or so you might imagine.

Arrived at court and met the client, an eight year old boy who had suffered whiplash injury in a car accident, along with his mother.  Sure enough, there was no opponent and it seemed that my instructions were right.  This was one I couldn’t lose.  Two yards away from the goal line and no-one there even to block my tap in.  Except that I didn’t figure on the judge getting involved.

“Mr MabyBarista, have you considered whether the accident had any psychological effect on the Claimant.”

Well, I hadn’t considered anything at all.  I thought I just had to tap the ball in the net.

“Er, I imagine so, Sir.  I don’t believe that there was any.  There is no mention of it in any of the papers.”

“But have you actually asked your client?”

“Er…well, no.  But I assume my Instructing Solicitors have.”

“Mrs [Client’s Mum].  Was your son distressed after the accident?”

“Yes he was Sir.  Very.”

“And has you solicitor considered making a claim for this?”

“I don’t know Sir.”

“Well I’m not at all happy to approve an award without the reassurance that young [Client] here has been examined by a psychiatrist.  I’ll adjourn the hearing and order that he be so examined.”

And then you ask why there’s a compensation culture in this country when even some of the judges are afraid to take a common sense approach.  Anyway, I take it as a warning that from now on, nothing is unlosable. 

Whatever my instructions.

April 26, 2007 · Tim Kevan · 4 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

4 Responses

  1. Chris - April 26, 2007

    Infant approvals, always a nightmare… the little blighters swear they’ve recovered, but put them on the stand and hear them say “Well, my neck still hurts a bit in the mornings…”.

  2. Justice Moustache - April 27, 2007

    Ouch. Get the young fella to the shrink… then go back before the judge and tell him to shove it. That usually turns out pretty well.

  3. Fellow Pupil - April 27, 2007

    The worst thing is having to tell your clerks and more senior members of chambers that you’ve lost the unlosable case.

  4. mad about babybarista - April 28, 2007

    Golly !