The High Court has ruled that late applicants, who missed the April 2013 deadline for registering in the forthcoming PIP faulty breast implant court case, will not be allowed to participate in it.
In March 2012, the High Court endorsed a Group Litigation Order (GLO) that would allow injury compensation claims against the clinics who performed breast implant surgery with the recalled PIP implants to be combined into one legal action.
The purpose of the GLO was to reduce the costs of the potential claimants who would join the legal action and the time it would take for them to be compensated if the PIP faulty breast implant court case went in their favour.
A deadline of April 2013 was set for claimants to register in order that the defendants in the case might know the scope of the claims being made against them, and the start of the PIP faulty breast implant court case was scheduled for October.
Just before the April 2013 deadline, seventeen claims for faulty breast implant compensation were being managed by a legal firm in Manchester – Tandem Law – who suddenly went into liquidation and were later acquired by AHV Legal.
Due to a lengthy changeover process, AHV Legal missed the deadline for registering their seventeen clients, and the applications to register them in the PIP faulty breast implant court case were only made in February this year.
The cosmetic surgery clinics defending the case objected to the late applications on the grounds that it would prejudice the case against them. They also cited Lord Jackson´s criticisms of non-compliance with GLO deadlines and provided several examples of subsequent court cases in which potential claimants had been disqualified from making claims due to missing deadlines.
Their objections were heard by Mrs Justice Thirwall DBE at the High Court; who also heard arguments on behalf of the seventeen potential claimants that exclusion from the PIP faulty breast implant court case might compromise their rights to recover compensation. The applicants´ barristers claimed that, should the PIP faulty breast implant court case result in substantial settlements being made to the existing claimants, there may not be enough money left to compensation AVH Legal´s clients.
The judge dismissed the applicant´s argument on the basis that it was speculative. She commented that if there were insufficient funds remaining to compensate the clients of AVH Legal after the PIP faulty breast implant court case, the clients would have a justifiable cause to sue AVH Legal. Mrs Justice Thirwall DBE granted the objection by the cosmetic surgery clinics.