The SRA recently published a warning notice to those who are regulated and are instructed to act in respect of holiday sickness claims. The warning follows a reported increase in the number of holiday sickness claims by 500% since 2013.
There has been a lot of media attention in respect of the rise in holiday sickness claims and the number of potentially fraudulent and/or dishonest food poisoning claims. The SRA has expressed concern that claims are being submitted “…without proper analysis of the evidence or understanding of the legal position.” Also, the SRA is investigating law firms in connection with potentially improper links with claims management companies and for payments being made for referrals of holiday sickness claims.
The warning notice follows the proposals of Jackson LJ for holiday sickness claims to fall within the fixed costs regime. A link to the SRA warning notice, which sets out in more detail the concerns, expectations and principles in respect of conduct, can be accessed here.
Also, on 13 October 2017 the MoJ launched a call for evidence with the aim of providing Ministers with greater insight into the reported rise in suspected false insurance claims for gastric illnesses. The call for evidence is open for four weeks and asks the industry and others to submit a wide range of information, from the volumes of claims to the amount of damages awarded.
BLM brought the first private prosecution against a couple that had pursued a fraudulent holiday sickness claim. The couple received custodial sentences, which demonstrates that the courts are not afraid to take action in order to deal with individuals that bring dishonest claims. A recent BLM newsflash in respect of this landmark case can be accessed here.