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Gosling v Screwfix & Anor [2014] (Cambridge County Court, HHJ Moloney QC, unreported) - 29/03/14


The claim arose out of an injury in 2008 and was issued in 2011, well before the implementation of the Jackson reforms. However, the claim was funded by a BTE agreement and the Claimant sought qualified one-way costs shifting ("QOCS") protection under CPR rule 44.14. The Defendant therefore made an application for a finding of fundamental dishonesty under CPR rule 44.16(1). The Claimant succeeded on liability however the Defendant adduced covert surveillance evidence and the Claimant was found to have significant exaggerated the extent of his injuries following a fall from a ladder.

HHJ Moloney QC, in the Cambridge County Court, found that the dishonesty was crucial to around half the value of the claim. He made the first recorded finding that a claim was "fundamentally dishonest" and therefore the Claimant should be denied the protection of QOCS. The judge held that "on any view" the dishonesty was fundamental because the dishonesty accounted for half of the value of the claim. He said the relevant question was whether, in broad terms, the Claimant was deserving of the costs protection that QOCS provided for reasons of social policy. The case shows that a claim need not be entirely fabricated for a judge to make a finding of "fundamental dishonesty". This meant that the Claimant was to pay the Defendant's costs on an indemnity basis.


  • County Court
  • Tuesday, 17 June 2014