Andrew Ward and Chris Richards secure a finding of Fundamental Dishonesty in a £1.6 million claim

April 28, 2023

In Michael Mantey -v- Ministry of Defence [2023] EWHC 761 (KB), following a trial in the RCJ in March 2023, Eyre J. found the claim advanced by the Claimant, a former soldier, for damages for Non-Freezing Cold Injuries sustained during his Army service with the Defendant, to be fundamentally dishonest within the meaning of CPR Rule 44.16. The Ministry of Defence was successfully represented by Andrew Ward and Chris Richards of Exchange Chambers.

The Claimant’s provisional Schedule of Loss totalled £1.6 million. He was filmed walking normally without a stick during the morning and evening of 10th September 2021, despite presenting for examination with Mr. Warwick Radford, Orthopaedic Consultant, with a limp and a stick in the middle of the day. Eyre J. accepted the Defendant’s arguments that the variability in symptoms was too extreme to be genuine. The judge concluded that:

The Claimant knew that he was not suffering from the symptoms and reduced functionality which he presented and reported to Mr. Radford and to the other experts earlier in September 2021 and again in January and March 2022. He chose to report symptoms which he knew were false and from which he was not suffering. He did so in the context of a substantial damages claim. The only possible explanation is that he did so deliberately and with a view to enhancing the value of the claim. Such conduct was clearly dishonest.”

The judge added that: “That dishonesty tainted the whole of the claim. It went to the heart of the claim; it substantially affected the presentation of the claim as a whole; and led to a significant inflation in the claim’s value…In those circumstances I find the claim to be fundamentally dishonest.”

Andrew and Chris were instructed by Vicky Mallard and Ffion Rowlands of Clyde & Co., whose assistance throughout the claim was invaluable.

Andrew and Chris are members of the personal injury team at Exchange Chambers.