Holiday Makers in contempt even before

Proceedings are issued

A leading Holiday Company has succeeded in an Appeal against the refusal of the High Court to hold two holidaymakers in contempt of Court in relation to Pre-Action Statements which they filed alleging that they had contracted food poisoning as a result of eating contaminated food or drink or swimming in an insanitary pool whilst on holidays abroad.

The holidaymakers filed documents supported by a Statement of Truth prior to issuing Proceedings and the holiday Company, Jet2holidays disputed the contents of the statements. The holidaymakers Karl and Laura Hughes filed witness statements via their lawyers supported by signed Statements of Truth. Formal Legal Proceedings were never actually issued.

Jet2holidays Limited brought an Action for contempt against the claimants which was rejected by the High Court. However, the Court of Appeal unanimously reversed the Decision of the High Court and ruled that the documents filed by the holidaymakers which were verified by the Statements of Truth and which included false witnesses and Statements as alleged by the Company were properly the subject of Committal Proceedings for contempt.

When the claims were originally filed the holiday Company denied liability. It checked out Social Media which indicated that the Claimants in fact were well during the holiday and had no problems.

Overruling the High Court the Court of Appeal said that the Court did have jurisdiction to hear the contempt Proceedings based on the original witness statements regardless of the Application by the Holiday Company to amend the contempt Application based on further information received. The Court of Appeal was not impressed by the Claimants repeating their allegations even after same were disputed by the Holiday Company.

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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2019