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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7072
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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Hi. Im a defendant where a claimant is claiming 20,000 which

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Im a defendant where a claimant is claiming 20,000 which he alleges were losses suffered due to minor damage to an airplane I hired from his company. I'm a qualified pilot who flies as a hobby. He alleges I was negligent, and I said I was not - and the accident happened because of the taxi path of the aircraft and the position the ground marker was. One propeller tip got bent - that was all the visible damage was.
The company and premises itself closed down not long after, and the claimant put in a court claim using his name t/a after the ltd company was sold on to someone else (company house documents to show). ( is the website of the company - which even has the Limited company registration number on it).
The airplane itself belongs to someone else! - presumably someone who was leasing it to this claimants company, who then leased it to me under a membership scheme.
Recently, we went to the court to get his case thrown out on the basis that he can't file a negligence claim on me if I had no duty of care to him because
1) The company is no longer registered to him (as it was sold to someone else).
2) The plane doesn't belong to him
The claimant however turned around and said that the membership scheme i was part of was not something run by the company but by himself - as a sole trader! I was never aware of dealing with a sole trader. He also showed the company annual returns which said the ltd company was dormant for years. Now this is despite the website of the company clearly having the limited company registration number, where I made all aircraft bookings from. He also says my membership was paid to which is owned by him personally, and not xyz limited, again something i was never aware of.
He also claimed in the court that he actually is the true owner the plane, although it is not registered to him. It was part of some money borrowed / lent with the registered owner of the plane years ago, and that he could prove he paid for it (again, something I doubt he can prove as if he did, he would have done so in court during the first hearing).
The court basically didn't throw the case out and has given the claimant a chance to prove he owns the plane since he had the ability to hire it to me (so either show the receipts / proof OR he has to get the registered owner onto the court case as a co-claimant). The judge also noted the fact that the proof of amount he had was a "quote" he gave me the day after the incident..which is a quote he made up himself.
The bot***** *****ne is this - the plane never suffered such damages. The only thing done was a new propeller installed or old propeller straightened, costing at most a few hundred pounds. There was no such maintenance work done on the plane as he alleged...and so he is going to struggle to make up evidence for any of it. There would just be too much to forge (we are talking assessment, repairs, and/or replacement of an aircraft engine - which he has to fake). Even if all thats was done, I would imagine he has to be able to explain why it cost 20,000, when I later got independent quotes all for the same kind of work (from authorised repair centres) all of which costing less than half of what he is claiming. He basically is trying to cheat me, and is using the court to do it, hoping I will come to an out of court settlement with him (which is now out of the question as its cost me lots to defend myself, and I won't pay a cheat).
The summary from my solicitor from the last hearing is:
1. The case is allocated to the fast track.
2. It is recorded that the parties may wish to amend the statements of case. They should liaise and co-operate to try and make any amendments by agreement but if this is not possible any application to amend must be made by 31 October 2014.
3. Disclosure shall be given by 21 November 2014 by list. Requests for inspection or requests for copies shall be by 28 November 2014 and complied with by 5 December 2014.
4,5,6,....and a final point of:
The recording as to amendment is to cater for the fact that the Claimant may wish to join in Mr C (the registered owner of the plane).
It is now 2 days away to amend the statement of case. We'v not heard from the other party at all. We wrote to them a month ago asking them to let us know by 17/10 what amendments they wish to make so we could reply, but they r silent.
Do I have to submit to the court any amendments for my defence or additional arguments by 31/10 such as that actually the claimant has not provided any evidence of work done to the plane, true costs incurred, my membership agreement etc? Or do I wait until after 31/10, then just ask the claimant for a list of documents which I know he won't be able to provide (or will try to falsify).. The kind of things he is going to struggle with is pretty much everything - from proof he owns the plane, to proof any work was done, and how much it ever cost..!
You cannot amend your defence unless he amends his statement of claim.
All these points he has suddenly raised need to be incorporated in his statement/particulars of claim.
If he fails to amend his statement/ particulars of claim you can cover all the points you wish to raise in your witness statement that needs to be filed later, assuming that he continues with this case.
I hope this helps. If there are any further points please reply.
Best wishes
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