PROVING THINGS 71: NO EVIDENCE AT ALL: NO DAMAGES AT ALL
In Khan v Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council  UKUT 432 (LC) we see another examples of a total failure to prove damages. I include it as another example of a party attending a hearing with no evidence at all to prove a claim for damages. It encapsulates the basic rule – no evidence, no damages.
The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chambers) was assessing compensation due to a house-owner after compulsory purchase. The evidence was that the house had been empty and derelict prior to it being subject to compulsory purchase. The house-owner claimed the loss of capital value and also a claim for lost rent.
THE CLAIM FOR LOST RENT
The Tribunal (P D McCrea FRICS) considered the valuation evidence as to the capital value of the house. The claim for loss of rental income was then considered.
“Loss of rent
26. The claim includes £22,815 for loss of rent during the shadow period of the CPO. Mr Stevenson said that this period was from December 2005 to the valuation date, and calculated the loss of rent as follows:
468 weeks at £80 per week at 75% to reflect management and voids.
27. There is a mathematical error in this calculation, since 468 weeks at £80 per week is £37,440, which less 25% is £28,080. Mr Stevenson repeats his calculation in several places, making a typing error unlikely. His end figure of £22,815 would actually be the product of a weekly rate of £60 per week. His erroneous total claim figure does not help solving the mystery, since this would point to £27,080. However, it is unnecessary for me to decide whether he meant £60 per week – amounting to £22,815 – or £80 per week – amounting to £28,080, since I dismiss this element of the claim for several reasons. First, while Mr Stevenson relied on Shun Fung this element of the claim fails one of the conditions set down by Nichols LJ in that decision – that there must be a direct causal link between the acquisition and the loss in question. No such link has been proved. There is no evidence that, after a long period of the property lying empty, the claimant had decided to refurbish it and would have done so had it not been for the scheme. Secondly, the details of the claim were entirely speculative. There was no evidence in support of the rental income level (whichever it was), or choice of deduction for management costs and voids. I make no award of loss of rent in this claim.”
RELATED POSTS: THE PROVING THINGS SERIES
- Proving things 1: Civil Evidence Act notices will not cut it
- Proving things 2: evidence to support a claim for damages must be pitch perfect.
- Proving things 3: the complete absence of evidence means the court will not speculate
- Proving things 4: Witnesses who just aren’t there.
- Proving things 5: witness statements and failing on causation.
- Proving things 6: “That’s what I always do” & proving causation.
- Proving things 7: If you don’t prove a loss you don’t get an order.
- Proving things 8: a defendant must prove that a failure to wear a seatbelt made a difference.
- Proving things 9: the role of experts
- Proving things 10: “He said, she said”: the difficulties of recollection.
- Proving things 11: Lies, damn lies and…
- Proving things 12: That oral contract is not worth the paper its written on.
- Proving things 13: Loss, there was no loss.
- Proving things 14: proving mitigation of loss
- Proving things 15: damages and evidence: going back to College
- Proving things 16: if you don’t prove it you don’t get it.
- Proving things 17: Heads of damage that were “entirely bogus”
- Proving things 18: Damages; Car hire; Proof & Summary Judgment
- Proving things 19: prove service or you could be caught out.
- Proving things 20: allegations of improper conduct have to be prove
- Proving things 21: when the whole process of investigation is flawed
- Proving things 22: damages, mitigation part 36 (and bundles).
- Proving things 23: serving important evidence late
- Proving things 24: Damages & the “But for test”: when it gets really complexProving things 24: Damages & the “But for test”: when it gets really complex
- Proving things 25: Attempts to smuggle in witness statements do not help (and carry no weight).
- Proving things 26: distinguishing between what you can remember and what you now think you did.
- Proving things 27: Burdens of proof, hearsay evidence and… attempted murder.
- Proving things 28: make unwarranted personal attacks and use a “mud-slinging” expert: that always ends well.
- Proving things 29: Make sure the witness evidence deals with the relevant issues
- Proving things 30: Office Gossip Proves Nothing: The importance of the source of information and belief.
- Proving things 31: witnesses tend to remember what they want to remember.
- Proving things 32: Damages claim struck out as unsustainable: application to amend refused.
- Proving things 33: causation and the burden of proof in claims against solicitors.
- Proving things 34: There is no primer for scuttlers: when your ship doesn’t come in.
- Proving things 35: Reconstruction, documents & memory.
- Proving things 36: credibility and contemporaneous documents.
- Proving things 37: An approach to damages that was “fundamentally deficient throughout”.
- Proving things 38: Proving inability to pay on a security for costs application.
- Proving things 39: You can spend £10 million in costs and still not prove your case.
- Proving things 40: No evidence – no loss.
- Proving things 41: Proving damages – you are not going to get a second bite of the cherry.
- Proving things 42: silence does not prove inducement.
- Proving things 43: How the Court decides: a Primer.
- Proving things 44: Findings of Fact, Walter Mitty and Witness Training.
- Proving things 45: If you can’t prove loss the defendant is going to get summary judgment.
- Proving things 46: Late theories advanced by experts rarely help.
- Proving things 47: Fire in the loft: it wasn’t the mouse man at all.
- Proving things 48: valves, floods, models and causation.
- Proving things 49: it is difficult to prove damages when the opinion evidence in your witness statement has been struck out.
- Proving things 50: to prove breach of contract you first have to prove that there was a contract.
- Proving things 51: No evidence of loss – no damages
- Proving things 52: Solicitor’s negligence action fails on all counts: no negligence and no loss.
- Proving things 53: dishonesty some of the times doesn’t mean dishonesty all of the time.
- Proving things 54: getting £2 in damages after claiming £15 million.
- Proving things 55: I’ll say it again: No evidence – no damages.
- Proving things 56: A judge will not speculate when things could have been proven.
- Proving things 57: Lease said soonest mended: claim for substantial damages fails (and guess the reason)
- Proving things 58: Failure to prove causation leads to award of nominal damages.
- Proving things 59: To get special damages you have to plead them and prove them.
- Proving things 60: Putting seaweed out of the window and the judge who was even-handedly offensive
- Proving things 61: More on social media: Facebook Entries & witness credibility.
- Proving things 62: “Totally unsatisfactory evidence” at trial fails to prove special damages.
- Proving things 63: “Law Society fails to prove it made a loss”
- Proving things 64: Absence of strong and stable evidence leads to damages award of £2.00
- Proving things 65: Assumptions are not evidence (if the Court of Appeal has to ask for the matter to be made simple you are in serious trouble).
- Proving things 66: It all comes down to the credibility of witnesses: where there’s a will there’s a way.
- Proving things 67: The difficulties when witnesses depart from their statement: multiple inconsistencies damage credibility
- Proving things 68: Claim £4,177,782 receive £46,815: Lease said soonest mended.
- Proving things 69: Solicitors evidence of (their own) loss “wholly inadequate”
- Proving things 70: Causation has to be established and will not be inferred.