Molloy v Shell UK Ltd: CA 6 Jul 2001

Liability had been conceded by the defendant in the personal injury claim, but the defendant now appealed against the order that it should recover only 75% of its costs incurred after the date of a Part 36 payment made by it. The claimant claimed some andpound;68,000 for past losses and some andpound;232,000 for future loss of earnings from his employment working on the oil rigs. But a few days before the trial the defendant discovered that the claimant had indeed returned to work as scaffolder on the oil platforms some 3 years previously.
Held: Laws LJ said that it was ‘entirely plain that the claim had been grossly and deliberately exaggerated by him’, and ‘his particulars of claim were spectacularly dishonest.’ The claimant did not better the payment into court but even if that was wrong there was only one way in which the judge’s discretion as to costs could properly have been exercised and that was to award the defendant its costs. He added obiter: ‘The judge was obliged by Part 44.3(5) as I have said, to consider the whole of the party’s conduct. It does appear that he may have considered the respondent’s conduct only after the date of the Part 36 payment. If that is so he fell into error. At least since the particulars of claim filed on 20th September 1999 and until he was found out the respondent’s approach to this action has been nothing short of a cynical and dishonest abuse of the court’s process. For my part I entertain considerable qualms as to whether, faced with the manipulation of the civil justice system on so grand a scale, the court should once it knows the facts, entertain the case at all save to make the dishonest claimant pay the defendant’s costs.’


Mummery LJ, Laws LJ


[2001] EWCA Civ 1272, [2002] PIQR P7




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedWidlake v BAA Ltd CA 23-Nov-2009
The claimant had succeeded in her action for personal injuries, but now appealed against the awarding of costs to the defendant. The dispute had been substantialy as to the nature and effect of her injuries. She had not disclosed earlier injury to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Personal Injury

Updated: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.218330