MEDICAL AGENCY COSTS NOT RECOVERABLE IN FIXED COSTS REGIME: REPORT OF A DECISION
I am grateful to Simon Fisher of DWF for sending me a copy of the decision of Deputy District Judge Akers in Powles -v- Hemmings, a decision on the 23rd April 2021, a copy of which is available here Powles v Hemmings – St Helens CC – Judgment – 20210423 V Final_ The case relates to the issue of what part of the costs of a medical report are recoverable, the judge holding that the costs incurred by the medical agency were already covered in the fixed costs element of the claim and therefore not recoverable from the defendant.
The defendant settled a personal injury action brought by the claimant. The hearing was in relation to one issue in relation to the costs of a medical report.
THE MEDICAL AGENCY FEES
The report cost £900 inclusive of VAT. The defendant requested a breakdown of the costs of the report:
- £350 represented the fee for consultation, examination and production of the report.
- “The remaining £400 goes to items such as issuing a consent form; chasing and retrieving the completed form; issuing an instruction
letter and supporting details to the expert; quality checking the medical report before sending to claimant representatives; collection and query resolution with a costs draftsman and third parties; considering claimant’s expert’s dates of availability and preparing correspondence to a solicitor, and so on – these are all items which the defendant says are agency fees, that they are not recoverable and that they are already dealt with within the fixed costs regime. “
The defendant admitted liability to pay the £350 but not to the £400.
THE JUDGE UPHELD THE DEFENDANT’S ARGUMENT
The judge accepted the defendant’s argument and ordered that the defendant pay the report element of the costs, at £350 plus VAT.