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Fundamental dishonesty in occupational disease claims (part 3) - Paul Debney, Weightmans LLP

09/01/19. In this, the last of a series of 3 articles, Paul Debney, Partner and head of disease counter fraud at national firm Weightmans LLP, examines the impact of the suppression of evidence relevant to the causation of a condition.

In the earlier two articles we discussed decisions which establish that fundamental dishonesty can apply not simply to direct lies about breach of duty; for example the provision of hearing protection and training, but further how the failure to disclose a previous claim or earlier knowledge of the existence of a condition can also amount to fundamental dishonesty.

Similarly, deliberately suppressing alternate, potentially causative, non occupational exposure can also be fundamentally dishonest. In the case of Christopher Evans v Blackheath Engineering & Ors (unreported) it was alleged that occupational noise exposure with our client and 4 other employers had caused NIHL. The claimant denied any non occupational noise exposure in his medical report, in response to specific Part 18 questions and in his initial witness statement. Contrary to those assertions the claimant was a guitar player in a heavy metal band and therefore likely had significant non occupational noise exposure.

It was only after...

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