Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
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Another case on costs against Claimants
The case of Howman v Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn is a case involving a costs order against the Claimant in excess of £40,000 to be assessed by the County Court on an indemnity basis. The EAT allowed an appeal against the amount of the order on the basis that the Tribunal had failed to take into account the effect on the Claimant that such a costs order would have; requiring him to sell his home where he lived with his wife and children and wipe out most of his life’s savings. The Tribunal had also not considered the possibility of putting a cap on the amount he had to pay.
The EAT considered that the Tribunal had to carry out a balancing exercise between the Claimant’s admittedly unreasonable conduct in bringing and pursuing a claim which had no reasonable prospects of success, and the costs incurred by the public sector employer and in doing so should assess the effect of a substantial costs award on the Claimant in the way described.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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