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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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A Rep for Expedia is asking me to withdraw my claim against

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Hi Jim, a Rep for Expedia is asking me to withdraw my claim against them stating that there is no basis and mentions that they may recoup legal expenses:Good Afternoon,As you are both aware, we act for Expedia. I have just assumed conduct of this file in light of the forthcoming interim court hearing on 30/06/21. From my assessment of the papers filed at court:1. The Claimant explains that he booked a flight with BA via the Expedia website. No cause of action, or facts giving rise to a cause of action, have been pleaded against Expedia.2. Expedia have filed a defence explaining that there is no contract (in respect of the flight booking) between Expedia and the Claimant. Expedia acted as agent to facilitate a contract being entered into between the Claimant and BA.3. BA have filed a defence which accepts that have a contract with the Claimant, but the claim is disputed for other reasons that may need to be assessed by the court. There is no suggestion that BA believe Expedia have any liability in respect of this claim or any potential counter claim.In light of the above it seems to me that the claim against Expedia has no prospect of success as no cause of action against Expedia has been pleaded either by the Claimant or BA. The claim should therefore proceed between the Claimant and BA only. I would be grateful to hear from you both as to whether or not you agree. If not, please set out reasons as to what facts give rise to a claim against Expedia.Mr Chen, if you are in agreement with this proposal, you can simply file a Notice of Discontinuance (against the 1st Defendant only) here. In doing so, a copy should be served on both Expedia and BA. I would flag up at this point that I am a bit unclear as to whether BA or Expedia are the 1st Defendant as the court orders seem inconsistent. You should therefore make it clear against which party the claim is being discontinued.If you are not in agreement I will of course consider any reasons as to why you believe there is a claim against Expedia to pursue. However, unless I receive a proper explanation I will be inviting the court to strike out the claim against Expedia at the hearing on 30/06/21. In addition, my client may be minded to make a formal application to the court to strike out the claim against Expedia and to seek an order that Expedia’s legal costs are met (it being unreasonable to bring a claim against a party with no legal basis and force that party to incur legal costs to defend that claim). However, I trust that will not be necessary.RegardsNick Parkinson​
Senior Associate
T:
0113(###) ###-####D:
0113(###) ###-####E:***@******.***
W: Travlaw.co.uk
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Hello, this is Jim and welcome back to JustAnswer.

Whether Expedia are one of the defendants in this case depends if you paid Expedia for this or not. And whether there is a contract between you and Expedia. They say there was no contract between you and Expedia - which is odd (as I have used it myself) and clearly they are the booking agent. They say there is no cause of action pleaded against Expedia (a cause of action would be for example Expedia are in breach of contract) so they seem to say they may make an application at the hearing to strike out against Expedia only. If they do this you will need to oppose it - ultimately it would be up to the judge having assessed the facts and evidence whether they agree Expedia should be involved or not.
If an application is made and they succeed then they may well ask for their costs though in a small claim legal costs are not permitted under the Civil Procedure Rules unless the claim lacks merit, or you have breached a rule or court order in which case the judge may have diction. They invite your Notice of Discontinuance against Expedia (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n279-notice-of-discontinuance) and if you fill it out (against Expedia only) then they will not make their application to strike out - your claim would then only proceed against BA. BA seems to have filed a defence and said there was a contract but they dispute the claim - the reasons are unknown according to this question. So if you stopped the Claim against Expedia and BA won in their defence - they may say this was Expedia's fault and of course you would have stopped the claim so Expedia are no longer in the litigation. It is up to you what you do - as I say, it will depend if you paid Expedia or not and if not, was there a contract. The act of paying a company can create an implied contract even if nothing is written down.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Jim, I will leave it up to the judge then as I think you are totally correct. When I called initially, they were blaming each other anyway so this will be no different. Thanks Byron Chen

Yes, their argument is that Expedia does not contract with consumers, nor do they take money for bookings. If that were the case then why are they in business!?

JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13877
Experience: Senior Associate Solicitor
JimLawyer and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Jim, they are still proceeding with threats. This is the reply below:Hi Byron,Expedia accept that there is a contract between you and them; however that contract is confined to their roles and duties as an agent only – as opposed to principal. As agent, our client has provided a platform for customers (such as yourself) to connect with suppliers (such as BA) and thereafter, enter into a contract directly with that supplier in accordance with BA’s own Terms & Conditions.This situation is comparable to a dispute with a buyer and seller on ebay. If the seller does not deliver the goods ordered, would you bring a claim against ebay or the seller? Naturally, the answer is the seller (albeit ebay may provide the facilities online to resolve and communicate that dispute). In rare circumstances, however, you could bring a claim against ebay if, for example, the situation arose due to an error on ebay’s platform – i.e. there would be a breach on the part of ebay under their T&C’s as the platform provider. As far as I am aware, you have not alleged that you are entitled to a refund due to any fault or negligence on the part of Expedia - whether relating to the online platform that they provide or otherwise.In order to establish your cause of action, please can you therefore identify the relevant paragraphs of any T&C’s between yourself and Expedia that you say Expedia have breached or which otherwise give rise to a claim against Expedia? Put simply, it is not possible to establish a claim for ‘breach of contract’ if you are unable identify a clause in a contract that you say has been breached. If the claim is not being brought for ‘breach of contract’, then you are obliged to state the basis on which a claim is made against Expedia.My client is currently incurring legal costs in order to defend that has been presented with absolutely no factual or legal basis that explains how Expedia are liable for a refund. On that basis, I again ask you to reconsider your position before my client incurs costs to attend the hearing on 30/06 and/or makes a formal application to strike out the claim against Expedia.RegardsNick Parkinson​
Senior Associate
T:
0113(###) ###-####D:
0113(###) ###-####E:***@******.***
W: Travlaw.co.uk
Leeds: Lee House, No.1 Lee Lane East, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5RF

Thanks, ***** ***** is that the service was not provided (you paid Expedia) which would then make them liable. It would depend if you booked a package holiday - if so, the agent is liable. If it was a flight-only, ultimately BA would be liable to refund you.

I would say therefore there may be a finding by the court that BA would be liable for your refund - you only booked a flight from the facts so it would be wise to accept Expedia's request to discontinue against them and just pursue BA for the refund. I can't say for sure what the judge would make of it but if BA cancelled, you should pursue BA only and drop the case against Expedia - if the law rep applies to strike out against Expedia then they will ask for their costs.
You can ask for a second opinion on this site if you wish - there are other experts who could give you that second opinion if you need it.
Thanks

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
HI Jim it was flight only but I still should not withdraw against Expedia for the reasons you mentioned before

Hi, I will need to let another expert give you their view on this as I am not 100% sure what the court would say in this situation - I know Expedia took your money and both Expedia and BA blame each other. But for a flight-only booking as I say, BA would be ultimately responsible for your loss.
I will have to opt out under the site rules here for someone else to assist you to give you their view - someone else will be along shortly.
Thanks

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks Jim. I really appreciate your honesty and help on this. It takes a great person to admit they need another opinion. You are great !!!!

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can.  I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position

Hello, thanks for your message I appreciate it is important to you. I have taken a look at the above correspondence plus your conversation with Jim, and must say I am in agreement with his opinion on the matter.

In essence, when you book a flight through a platform such as Expedia, whether you have a cause of action against them will be determined on how the booking was made. Expedia is a platform which does advertise flights from different airlines, however I note when booking through their website, some flights will take you directly to the airlines website to complete the booking, whilst other flights you can book directly from Expedia's website.

It is unclear from the information where the booking was actually made i.e. was it on BA's website directly or was it on Expedia's website. If the booking was made on Expedia's website then you would have a cause of action against them as agents on behalf of BA, but if it was made on BA's website, then you would have a cause of action against BA only and Expedia would hold no liability.

However, discussing a cause of action, in essence the only viable one here is one in contract and from what I have read from your previous information there has been no breach of contract by either party, please correct me if I am incorrect. The issue effectively is you cancelled the flight due to the pandemic and now require a refund, and you are not requesting a refund due to either party breaching a contract against you. The request for a refund therefore would not arise from a breach of contract, and if you are successful in court it will be for the court to decide whether you are entitled to a refund due to a frustration of the contract, as opposed to a breach.

However, in my opinion it is premature for you to file a notice of discontinuance against Expedia for now until it has been established that they had no role in this matter, this information is still unclear to me as normally any company acting in the capacity as agents, such as Expedia would hold a contractual relationship with the customer, but as mentioned it just depends on where the booking and payment was actually made. If it was made on BA website and you visited this via Expedia then BA would be liable for any refunds. But if the booking was processed directly through Expedia then they would hold some liability as agents on behalf of BA.

I hope this goes some way to assisting you and wish you well.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi John, Many thanks for your response. I did indeed book the flight via Expedia's website directly. And you are correct, I cancelled the flight due to the Pandemic. I agree that Expedia hold some liability but the legal team for Expedia are encouraging me to cancel my claim against them because they believe that they can get my claim striked out and also hold me liable for legal fee incurred for defence

Ok thank you. If the booking was made directly on Expedia's website then that in itself is the formation of a contract, between you and Expedia, where Expedia are acting as agents for their principal BA. I disagree with their comparison to the eBay website. eBay acts as a platform for buyer and seller to exchange goods, you do not pay eBay, you pay the seller. Whereas you have made a direct booking and payment to Expedia as travel agents. As I mentioned, I am uncertain if there has been a breach of contract per se, as this relates moreso to a frustration of a contract, however with respect to any refunds, Expedia would hold liability and for that reason it would not be in your best interests to discontinue your claim against Expedia, I believe it is premature to do so, without a full detailed review of the terms and conditions of their booking website, as well as that between Expedia and BA. Expedia seem to be implying some form of non-delegable duty of care, and I am unsure this is the case. If you discontinued the case against Expedia, and a court found that they are liable you would not be able to claim from them.

I understand the solicitors encouraging you to discontinue matters, as they have to act in the best interests of their client, and it would be more surprising if they did not ask you to do so. From my understanding this is a small claim, therefore fixed costs apply to solicitor fees, so if you were to lose you could most like incur the fixed costs, and any court fees, disbursements incurred.

It is my opinion you are performing the right action in bringing a claim against both parties, but evidently it will be for a court to decide if 1) you have merit in bringing a claim and 2) who will be liable if you are successful.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks John, I will leave it to the Judge then. Many thanks for your brilliant insight and advice. I will be using your services again :)

I am glad I was able to help. Best of luck to you. Have a great evening.