DAC Beachcroft Scotland successfully defended a Proof on liability securing an award of expenses against the pursuer. Following this success, the pursuer's wife has abandoned her claim and will pay our expenses. The totally saving made for the insurer was in excess of £50,000.
The pursuer was the driver of a vehicle which was involved in a collision with our client's insured. The pursuer's wife was in the vehicle and had her own injury case. When it became clear to the pursuer's solicitor that the action would be defended at Proof, the wife's claim was sisted, but not before we had incurred significant expense.
Throughout the course of proceedings, the pursuer changed his version of events on four occasions. It was clear that his recollection of events was vague. Our client's insured was very clear – the pursuer had collided with the rear of his vehicle. In the face of many, different allegations from the pursuer, the insured was steadfast, the accident was not his fault. At several stages in negotiations offers to abandon were put forward, all of which were rejected by the pursuer.
At proof, the pursuer and his wife gave evidence alleging that the accident was caused by the insured. In his evidence, the pursuer stated with certainty that the accident had happened due to the insured's attempt to overtake him and cut in front of him. Under cross examination, the pursuer was put under pressure by us and changed his evidence entirely, stating that the accident had actually happened when the insured had swung out to take a corner. He accepted that he did not in fact know how the accident had occurred.
In delivering his judgement, the Sheriff noted that there was very little in dispute, simply the mechanism of the accident. His Lordship noted that the damage to the vehicles was consistent with all three scenarios put forward in evidence. The Sheriff confirmed that he preferred the evidence of the insured, who was clear and consistent. His Lordship found the pursuer and his wife to be simply unreliable witnesses.
The Sheriff awarded Decree of Absolvitor, meaning that the pursuer cannot raise proceedings in relation to this accident again and found the pursuer liable to defenders for the expenses of the action.