Fined £15,000 for a fraudulent claim

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Just about Travel has written a lot about people making fraudulent compensation claims connected to falling ill on holiday after eating meals.

The fine handed done in Liverpool County Court only illustrates that tour operators will pursue those fraudulently claiming even if it costs them more than paying out a claim initially.

Readers will remember the case of a Liverpool couple who were unmasked by TUI after Facebook images showed them to be healthy and enjoying themselves at a time when they should have been ill.

Liverpool County Court, Recorder Sally Hatfield fined the fraudulent claimants – Chelsea Devine and Jamie Melling £15,000 in damages to TUI calling them “fundamentally dishonest.” They have just until this Friday to pay the money to TUI.

The Mail on Sunday followed up on this story and managed to unearth some coincidences. The doctor who signed the sickness certificates just happened to be married to a lawyer whose firm represented the couple in court and who prepared the paperwork for the original action against TUI. TUI has brought the doctor to the attention of the General Medical Council and the law firm to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The newspaper had 1,610 before it closed the comments section on this subject and most of those that posted called for the experts – the doctor and solicitor” to be dealt with as well as the two convicted fraudsters.

In an earlier incident it was reported that one firm of solicitors dropped 1,800 cases which suggested that they had doubts about the actions their clients were suggesting. Or does it suggest that there has been some connivance between firms of solicitors and holidaymakers?

UPDATE: 22/03/2018

I am grateful to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for pointing out to me that it has been concerned and has reminded solicitors of best practice. Last September, it issued a strong note saying, “We are investigating more than a dozen firms in connection with holiday claims, including over potentially improper links with claims management companies and payment for referrals of holiday sickness claims. We are also seeing firms pursuing claims without the proper instructions of claimants.”

It went on to say, “Failure to have proper regard to this warning notice is likely to lead to disciplinary action.” This is all to the good and, whilst we don’t know how many cases might have been nipped in the bud by solicitors, it is to be hoped that fewer people will follow the lead of Chelsea Devine and Jamie Melling and attempt fraudulent claims

 

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