Insurers Fail To Pay Up!

In August 2013 Stephen Shipley was a keen young amateur footballer in the Durham District Sunday League.  He had a decent job as a draughtsman and his wife was expecting their first baby anytime.

But when he went out to play in amateur football match one evening at Washington he suffered a severe injury to his right knee as a result of a negligent foul challenge by an opponent.

Stephen has never been able to return to amateur football and the injury has had a long-lasting impact on his life.

Stephen was represented by Paul Mulderrig, MD at Mulderrigs Solicitors Ltd in a claim for compensation against the offending player and his insurers.

Kennedys Law LLP were appointed to represent the offending player Lee Simpson by the insurers for Durham FA.

After a three year fight for justice Stephen’s case came to trial at Newcastle Upon Tyne in August this year, and after a two day hearing, with evidence from lots of players on both teams, the Judge gave a judgement in Stephen’s favour.

The Judge was very critical of Mr Simpson’s challenge, and very critical of the fact that his representatives rejected all of Stephen’s invitations to negotiate over the three years.

The amount due to Mr Shipley for damages and costs exceeded £85,000 and Judge allowed Mr Simpson and his insurers three weeks (a week longer than normal) to make the payment.

The due date for the payment to Mr Shipley was 28th October 2016, but despite many emails to the solicitors for Mr Simpson, no payment has been made to Mr Shipley and no explanation has been provided.

Commenting on the case, Paul Mulderrig MD of Mulderrigs Solicitors Ltd said:-

“This is an appalling situation.

I have been representing amateur footballers in cases like Mr Shipley’s for almost twenty years, and this is the worst case of default I have ever come across.

Durham County FA no doubt thought they had arranged the right level of insurance to cover players involved in this type of incident, and I am sure this situation will be a shock to them.

Mr Shipley now faces the prospect of having to pursue Mr Simpson on a personal basis to recover his damages, and it seems highly likely that Mr Simpson will face personal bankruptcy unless the insurers make a payment very, very soon.

I have serious misgivings about the behaviour of the insurers throughout this case.

They had many opportunities to settle the case over a very long period, when the cost to everyone would have been much lower.

But they chose to fight the case vigorously to a trial and now seem to have left both Mr Simpson and Mr Shipley high and dry.

In my view it brings the entire insurance industry into disrepute. I have been urging the Football Association and all the county football associations to ensure they make proper insurance arrangements to protect amateur players for over ten years, so it is extremely disappointing that I find myself having to repeat that call once again today.”