Research finds spiraling UK ‘compensation culture’ – But spiraling down not up …
Research published this week by the University of Warwick’s School of Law, for the Health and Safety Executive, has undermined the popular view that UK citizens are engaging in a spiraling ‘compensation culture’ with ever increasing claims against allegedly negligent companies and organisations. Instead, the evidence suggests that the number of such court claims has continued to fall.
The Warwick researchers’ remit was to survey the extent to which the Management of Health and Safety at Work and Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 2003, which removed the civil liability exclusions contained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, had influenced the volume of claims taken to court in respect of workplace incidents and accidents. In particular, the researchers were given the task to review whether there had been an increase in claims for damages arising from occupational injury or ill health for breaches of the 1999 Regulations, and, if so, the full extent of that increase.
Rather than evidence of increasing numbers of claims, however, the researchers found that the number of legal actions in this area was consistently falling in both the High Court and the County Courts.
Between 1999 and 2003, the number of "personal injury actions" in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court was:
The figures for "other negligence claims (including professional negligence)" during the same period revealed the following:
The number of "small claims" recorded during the relevant period under the heading of "Negligence – personal injury" and "Other negligence" in the County Courts was as follows: Number of "Negligence – Personal injury" Small Claims Heard (1999-2003)
Number of "Other negligence" Small Claims Heard (1999-2003)
The researchers also looked at the data on the number of civil liability claims specifically arising from the introduction of the new regulations in 2003 and found no evidence of increase. The Warwick researchers concluded that this was because workers already had available to them the right to bring actions in negligence as well as the right to bring actions for breach of statutory duty under other legislation, where there was no exclusion of civil liability. These conclusions were also supported by the observations of a wide range of legal practitioners, insurers, employers’ associations and trade unions, who participated in the Warwick research. In particular, there was no evidence of any significant numbers of claims "in the pipeline" since the coming into force of the 2003 Regulations.
It is expected that, once sufficient time has elapsed to measure the impact of the new regulations on completed litigation in this area, the government will be seeking a more detailed examination of the judicial statistics and emerging litigation practice in order to build upon the policy implications of the published Warwick findings.
Peter Dunn | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head
Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...