The Consequences of Refusing to Mediate
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Two recent cases against the NHS Litigation Authority highlight the potentially serious costs consequences of failing to mediate. Both of these cases relate to costs proceedings, as the underlying cases had already been resolved.
In one of those cases, Reid v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, the judge awarded the claimant costs on an indemnity basis, running from three days after the other had made an offer of alternative dispute resolution, which had been refused.
The judge said the defendant’s failure to agree to mediate was ‘unreasonable’. The judge also commented that it had taken the defendant 6 weeks to reply, declining to mediate.
In the second case, Bristow, the court ordered that all costs should be paid on the indemnity basis, again because an offer to mediate had been unreasonably refused.
It is particularly noteworthy that these cases both involve public funds, in which the taxpayer has been put to higher cost because of the NHS Litigation Authority's unreasonable refusal to mediate.
Samuels Solicitors are litigation experts, based in Devon, with a national client base. We understand the importance of alternative dispute resolution, and encourage clients to mediate with a view to settling cases at an early stage.
Contact us today for a free discussion about how we can help you.