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7 figure negligence claim against solicitors for failing to advise MIB application following motorcycle diesel spill accident

In a test case for solicitor’s negligence Andrew Campbell acted for a biker, Mr Conti, at the time a law student, seriously injured (brain injury) in 1993 when he lost control of his motorcycle on a diesel spill on the north circular in London.

Mr Conti’s solicitors appointed the Defendant law firm to act for him in his claim for personal injuries, Unfortunately the firm did not consider an application to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) which can compensate for injuries caused by fuel spill accidents (a little known fact until this negligence case).

The case, Mark-Anthony Conti -v- Hugh James (a firm), went to a High Court trial in London on limitation in 2003, the Defendant arguing that Mr Conti was too late to bring the claim against them. Andrew Campbell, instructed by Conti, succeeded with the case.

The Defendant then argued that it was not negligent as the claim stood no prospects of success even had it been submitted to the MIB within the 3 year time limit by the firm (it had not). Eventually, 3 days before a 8 day trial in 2006, a 7-figure settlement (including costs) was reached.

Speaking of this landmark case, Campbell said: “This shows the importance of lawyers being up to speed in their areas of speciality. It was unfortunate that the Defendant chose to fight the case which, in my mind, was always going to succeed. Succeed it did with a very large bill to pay including a £105,000 insurance premium, one of the largest in the history of negligence cases.”

This test case has led to Andrew being instructed in multiple other solicitors negligence cases for failure to advise an MIB application following a diesel spill accident. He has won all of them. The effect of the case has been to highlight this area of compensation so that lawyers are now aware of the rights of injured motorists, the result being that hundreds of bikers per year are now receiving compensation as a result of diesel spill accidents – compensation they would not have received were it not for this victory.

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