The Court of Appeal gave judgment on 25 February 2011 in the case of Edwards-Tubb v J D Wetherspoon. Their judgment is likely to have substantial repercussions for litigants in personal injury cases.
The Court of Appeal held that should a claimant in a case falling within the personal injury pre-action protocol, obtain an medical report which is unfavourable to them, this will ordinarily need to be disclosed as a condition of obtaining a further report from another expert. Now all reports, whether favourable or not, will be seen by all parties and the court when assessing damages.
This decision will allow courts to make a fairer and more balanced assessment of a claimant’s damages, based on a new openness on issues of medical evidence. It is already being welcomed by defendants and their insurers.
However, the question remains to be answered as to whether this will inevitably lead to the lowering of awards of damages?