17th Jun 2015 | Articles

Katherine Deal writes for the PI Brief Update Law Journal online webiste, discussing the Panagaki V Minetta RTA case.

Panagaki v Minetta SA General Insurances: Judgment 14 May 2015, reported Lawtel 15 May 2015. In March 2014 the Claimant, then aged 22, sustained catastrophic injuries in a road accident in Greece when the taxi in which she was travelling overturned. She had been born in Greece to a British mother and a Greek father. She held dual nationality and used a British passport. Her parents had a house in Athens where she grew up and where her parents and brother continued to live. Her grandmother lived in London, where the Claimant spent holidays growing up. The Claimant went to school in Greece and commenced a 4 year degree course in Edinburgh in 2012. Her tuition fees were paid by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland presumably, although this was not conceded, on the basis that she had applied as a Greek citizen rather than as a British citizen. The accident happened as she was returning to her parents’ home for a short visit.

Whilst still in hospital in Athens the Claimant issued an application against the taxi’s insurers seeking an interim payment to enable her to arrange a private transfer to Stoke Mandeville hospital for treatment for at least 6 months. The application was refused and the Claimant’s family and friends funded her transfer. Some 6 months after her arrival in the UK, all of which had been spent as an inpatient, the Claimant issued proceedings in England seeking £5m+ in damages from the Greek insurers, the Greek taxi driver and the Greek taxi owners pursuant to Greek law. Unaware of this, the insurers commenced proceedings in Greece 2 days later seeking a declaration as to the extent of its liability to her.

Unusually, after service of proceedings, the Claimant made an application to the English court for a positive declaration that the English court had jurisdiction, coupled with an application to injunct the insurers from proceeding in Greece.

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Source : PIBULJ.com

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