Our clients were a mother and son who were t-boned in a road accident in St. John's. In due course, we issued a statement of claim, which stated that the clients had personal injuries, but not going into any detail. This was in accord with long-established practice.
The response of the defendant was to immediately send out a detailed set of "boilerplate" questions known as Interrogatories, which intrusively sought all manner of private and confidential personal medical and financial information from the clients. The Interrogatories would have required them to sit down and do detailed answers to the questions, answers which otherwise would be available from the production of medical records and any financial records that might be relevant to the claims. We objected to this but when the defendant brought the matter before a judge in the Trial Division on an application, he ordered our clients to answer the Interrogatories and to pay the costs of the application.
Now the Court of Appeal has decided our appeal, and we are pleased to say that it has agreed with my clients on virtually all points raised on the appeal. The decision of the Court of Appeal is a victory for commonsense and for the principle of proportionality in the application of the rules of civil procedure which govern the conduct of all actions for personal injury damages. The situation had been getting out of hand. No longer will our clients, or any other victims of accident and injury who make a claim for money damages for personal injuries, be required to unnecessarily surrender their privacy to oppressive, annoying and embarrassing questions in writing - a defence technique to harass accident victims for daring to make a claim.