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Personal injury update

Vijay Ganapathy reviews the liability of members of the emergency services and ponders whether a vital filter has been lost in respect of unmeritorious claims

15 October 2013

Recent cases have seen the courts continuing the trend of considering new means of establishing liability. The courts recently had to address the question of whether fire services were entitled to claim “fireground immunity”.

Another case which, while providing guidance for harassment at work claims, inadvertently highlights one of the serious dangers posed by the new one-way costs-shifting rules.

Fireground immunity

In Various Claimants v Winter, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service & Alpha Fireworks Ltd [2013] EWHC 2331 (QB), the court had to consider whether a fire service could claim “fireground immunity”.

The claimants (‘C’) were firefighters and police officers who were called to a fire at a site (‘the site’) which was mostly occupied by the first defendant, Mr Winter (‘D1’)...

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