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Brownlie v 4 Seasons Group | Medical Negligence and Private Harm Weblog | Kingsley Napley


Right now the Supreme Court docket has handed down its Judgment on this lengthy working case, and in plain phrases, Woman Brownlie has gained the Attraction.

The complete Judgment is 134 pages lengthy, and might be learn, together with the Court docket’s Press Launch.

In 2010, Woman Brownlie and her husband, the distinguished worldwide lawyer Sir Ian Brownlie QC, went to Egypt. While staying on the 4 Seasons Resort in Cairo they went on a “Desert Safari Tour” which was organised by the lodge. They had been accompanied by Sir Ian’s daughter Rebecca who lived in Egypt, and her two younger kids. The tour took the celebration over tough terrain, and their car overturned. Tragically, each Sir Ian and Rebecca died, and Woman Brownlie sustained critical accidents.

Woman Brownlie returned to the UK, and shortly afterwards she instructed Kingsley Napley to begin authorized proceedings. We anticipated it to be a comparatively easy case. First, the Brownlies had been passengers within the car, so it couldn’t presumably have been their fault. Second, the proposed Defendant, the 4 Seasons Resort chain, is a considerable worldwide enterprise with vital presence within the UK.

We despatched a Letter of Declare to the Head Workplaces of the Defendant, that are in Canada. We anticipated there to be some dialogue about jurisdiction, and the right company entity throughout the 4 Seasons Group to be named as Defendant, however we hoped that we would quickly transfer to settlement negotiations with the Defendant’s insurance coverage firm. This was as a result of there could possibly be no defence on legal responsibility, and Sir Ian and Woman Brownlie had been based mostly within the UK. Thus the losses to his property, and Woman Brownlie’s dependency all arose on this jurisdiction.

Sadly, the 4 Seasons Group selected a distinct path. They refused to co-operate with us in figuring out the right company entity, and so they additionally challenged jurisdiction. Slicing a protracted story brief, this resulted within the case going by way of the Excessive Court docket twice, the Court docket of Attraction twice, and the Supreme Court docket twice – most latterly in January of this yr.

It’s in that Attraction that the Court docket at present offers it’s Judgment, and Woman Brownlie has gained with a powerful 4 – 1 majority.

This 10 yr authorized battle has not been in regards to the substantive case. It has been involved with a a lot narrower level of whether or not the case passes by way of the “jurisdictional gateways” that can permit the English Court docket to listen to it. 

On the Claimant’s aspect, our reply has been that the foundations are clear and thus the English Court docket does have jurisdiction to listen to the case. The Defence staff disagreed, and subsequently we have now spent almost 10 years locked in a protracted and more and more advanced authorized debate.

The Supreme Court docket has taken the chance to evaluation a number of the earlier choices by the English Courts, and to affirm their authority. Subsequently, not solely is it a vindication for Woman Brownlie, it is usually very useful to different claimants who might discover themselves in a equally tragic scenario.

The case will now return to the Excessive Court docket, and it’s to be hoped that it’ll quickly be resolved, as we’d count on for a case that’s at coronary heart so troublesome to defend.

FAQs – What does this imply for travellers and vacationers?

1. What’s a journey declare, and does the phrase have a exact that means in legislation?
There is no such thing as a exact definition in legislation, and a journey declare can embrace every part from reimbursement for the price of a vacation that’s ruined as a result of the lodging is substandard to critical private accidents arising because of issues like automotive accidents, office accidents or scientific negligence in a overseas hospital.

2. What kind of journey claims do you cope with?
At Kingsley Napley we concentrate on solely critical private damage and scientific negligence instances, and the journey instances that we cope with replicate that.  As on this explicit case the place our shopper suffered critical damage in a highway accident in Egypt and her husband tragically died.

3. Can I deliver a journey declare if I don’t have journey insurance coverage?
Sure. The claims that we cope with are these the place you’re suing a 3rd celebration, so it’s their insurance coverage firm that has to pay. That mentioned, you probably have journey insurance coverage, you may additionally be entitled to no-fault compensation from your individual insurers.

4. What does this case imply for individuals who have the misfortune to be killed or injured in overseas accidents?
The Supreme Court docket’s determination has made it simpler for them to deliver claims within the English Courts. The principles have at all times allowed this, however the Defendants, on this case, introduced an Attraction which mentioned that the foundations had been misapplied in a number of the earlier instances and that it ought to actually be rather more troublesome to get a declare into the English Courts.

5. So does that imply that there’s a new legislation?
No. The aim of the Supreme Court docket is to have a clearer interpretation of the legislation because it stands. It has mentioned that if an English particular person is injured or killed in a overseas accident (exterior of the previous EU) and suffers bodily or monetary injury on this nation, then the “jurisdictional gateway” will likely be open to them, and so they can deliver their declare within the English Courts.

6. Are there totally different guidelines for European and non-European international locations?
Sure. The reply to that is difficult, due to the transitional preparations involving Britain’s departure from the European Union, however in essence, European instances nonetheless have totally different guidelines. This explicit solely applies to these arising elsewhere on the earth.

7. If I’ve an accident overseas, who do I sue?
The straightforward reply is that you just sue the particular person or firm accountable. As with a declare within the UK, you have to to ensure that that particular person both has the means to pay your compensation or authorized prices or has an insurance coverage coverage for that objective. Usually that implies that the declare both needs to be in opposition to a giant firm, resembling a lodge chain, or a driver with full automotive insurance coverage.

8. Is it ever attainable to deliver a declare in opposition to an English Journey Firm?
Sure it’s. For many people, our holidays are “bundle holidays of 1 type or one other, and which means that claims are coated by the Bundle Journey Laws of 1992. In essence, these rules say that when you guide a vacation by way of a bundle tour firm like Thomsons, and one thing goes flawed on that vacation, you don’t have to fret about suing your lodge, you simply sue Thomsons within the UK and their insurers have to satisfy any declare.

9. Do I’ve to examine the effective print earlier than I guide a vacation?
Sure you must, and if you guide a bundle vacation you’ll usually discover that the situations make it very clear that the UK tour firm is just performing as an agent for a overseas lodge, so it isn’t a real bundle vacation and any declare will nonetheless should be in opposition to the lodge.

10. You’re a lawyer who offers with journey claims.  Has it put you off happening vacation?
No, under no circumstances. I might although advise you to comply with some commonsense measures, that are as follows:-

  • Wherever attainable buy a “bundle vacation” from a good UK operator.
  • Verify the phrases and situations to ensure that the bundle contains flights, lodging and any actions in the course of the vacation.
  • Make sure that your vacation supplier is backed by an ABTA assure.
  • Be cautious of discovering the most affordable attainable offers on-line, and of reserving instantly with people in different international locations, or small corporations. In case you do, enquire about their insurance coverage preparations.
  • Take out journey insurance coverage, and ensure that it’s nonetheless legitimate on the time of your vacation, and that it covers the nation and/or actions that you can be collaborating in on vacation. Not all insurance coverage insurance policies are the identical, and it may be a mistake to go for the most affordable.
  • In case you are injured while on vacation then attempt to collect as a lot proof as attainable on the time, or ask a member of the family to do that in your behalf. For instance, take images, and make notes of the time and place. You must also report the accident to the native authorities as rapidly as attainable.
  • When you might have returned to England you have to to talk to a specialist journey lawyer as quickly as attainable.
  • Though you can be planning to deliver a declare within the English Court docket you must take into consideration whether or not you is perhaps higher to sue within the nation wherein the accident occurred. Subsequently, both you or your English lawyer in your behalf might want to examine the cut-off dates and any particular guidelines that apply in these international locations.



If you need any additional info or recommendation in regards to the matter mentioned on this weblog, please contact our Medical Negligence and Private Harm staff at claims@kingsleynapley.co.uk 



Terrence Donovan is the Head of the Medical Negligence and Private Harm Division. He has a nationwide fame and is without doubt one of the most revered and senior solicitors within the subject.





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