Dudley Council has thrown out around 55 per cent of the 830 personal injury claims that have been made against it since the beginning of 2008, claiming that unscrupulous personal injury solicitors have been encouraging ‘spurious’ compensation claims to be made.
Council officials recently revealed that around £500,000 of personal injury compensation has been made on claims made by individuals against the council, even after 464 claims have been rejected by the local authority. Doing so has saved the council significantly, as official estimates of the monetary value of the entire 830 claims was approximately £4 million.
Council members stated that the number of spurious claims over the past three years can be attributed to no win no fee lawyers who encourage the making of spurious claims, such as the claim of one person who slipped on a wet piece of rubbish, another who tripped over the bin bag of a neighbour, or a third who tried to sue after falling over in the rain on a pedestrian crossing. Calling these instances of ‘nonsense claims,’ the council said they would defend such cases rigorously.
Cabinet member for legal services, Cllr Tim Wright, remarked that the local authority is also considering claiming back and legal costs the council incurs by defending an unfounded claim. The council always undertakes a full and thorough investigation, Mr Wright said, despite how frivolous a claim may sound.
However, the council is completely against taking funds out of the pocket of the local taxpayer in order to make payments on such spurious claims, according to the legal services cabinet member. Industry experts lauded the approach the local authority has taken on attempting to stem the tide of the so-called ‘compensation culture’ allegedly gripping the country.