Just for some easier reading for any PICN departments out there…a very brief summary of LJ Jackson’s report on extending fixed recoverable costs following a very quick read. I am sure that the well-resourced Court Service and all of its users are relishing getting stuck into the administration of a brand new track!
New Intermediate Track for PI
I propose that the following be the criteria for allocating a case to the intermediate track:
(i) The case is not suitable for the small claims track or the fast track.
(ii) The claim is for debt, damages or other monetary relief, no higher than £100,000.
(iii) If the case is managed proportionately, the trial will not last longer than three days.
(iv) There will be no more than two expert witnesses giving oral evidence for each party.
(v) The case can be justly and proportionately managed under the expedited procedure described in section 4 below.
(vi) There are no wider factors, such as reputation or public importance, which make the case inappropriate for the intermediate track.
(vii) The claim is not for mesothelioma4 or other asbestos related lung diseases.
(viii) Alternatively, even if none of criteria (i)-(vii) are met, there are particular reasons to assign the case to the intermediate track, of the kind described in paragraphs 3.7-3.8 below.
Proposed costs regime (Bands determined by complexity and confirmed on allocation):
What about clinical negligence cases?
Clinical negligence claims will not generally fall within the parameters of the fast track. They are more demanding than other forms of personal injury litigation and require more complex pre-issue investigation. The Department of Health has recently conducted a consultation on FRC in clinical negligence cases up to £25,000, as discussed in chapter 8 below. The only clinical negligence claims which would fall within the fast track fixed costs scheme proposed in this chapter are those where (a) breach and causation are admitted in the pre-action protocol letter of response and (b) the value is less than £25,000.
There is reason to believe that a bespoke process for clinical negligence claims up to £25,000 (including claims where breach and causation are in issue) with an accompanying grid of FRC, will result from the work which is in hand. Clinical negligence claims above £25,000 will seldom be suitable for the intermediate track, unless both breach of duty and causation have been admitted at an early stage. The multi-track will be the normal track for clinical negligence claims above £25,000.
I recommend that the Civil Justice Council should in conjunction with the Department of Health set up a working party, including both claimant and defendant representatives, to develop a bespoke process for clinical negligence claims initially up to £25,000 together with a grid of FRC for such cases.