Keep up to date with Salmons Solicitors using our news section for the latest information.
Parking Eye Case - Compensation in the absence of loss now permissible
Mr Beavis had the misfortune to park on car park managed by Parking Eye of Chorley, Lancashire, who use automatic number plate recognition cameras to record the comings and goings of cars in car parks they manage.
Here in Newcastle under Lyme, Morrisons and Aldi supermarkets use them and if an unsuspecting shopper stays even a few minutes beyond the allotted time, the shopper may expect an 85 pound parking charge to go with their grocery spend. That is how Parking Eye earn their revenue.
Overstaying the free time slot will automatically result in the issue of a penalty notice, which, in law, prior to this case, was either a request for the payment of pre-agreed damages for breaching the permission to park which had to reflect the loss incurred or was a penalty which bore no relation to the loss incurred and hence was unlawful. Students of contract law are taught in year one that contractual penalties are unlawful and unenforceable.
Mr Beavis overstayed his free time slot and duly heard from Parking Eye. Parking Eye's argument was that their signage ( visible by day; often not illuminated at night) created a contract with the driver wherein the driver agreed to pay the overstay charge.
Mr Beavis argued that the charge did not represent a fair assessment of the loss which was actually no loss at all, and the charge was a penalty which was therefore unlawful.
Mr Beavis' case went to the Supreme Court. The Court decided that it was not a penalty and was a proportionate means of controlling access to a car park with wider benefits for the public. It was therefore a pre-agreed damages payment which did not necessarily have to reflect any loss at all if it was proportionate AND there were wider public benefits in controlling car park use.
And that is the novel aspect - COMPENSATION IN THE ABSENCE OF LOSS !!!
Beforehand, it had been understood that contractual damages for breach of contract must reflect the actual loss sustained (otherwise a claim is a penalty and unlawful) but the Supreme Court has muddied the waters. There is now a much greater judicial discretion than had previously been understood to exist.
This has wider ramifications than a fight with Parking Eye. It makes it much harder to resist a contractual penalty clause so now, thanks to Parking Eye, we might see much greater use of draconian contractual penalties.
Latest News Articles
Has the tide has finally turned in social services failure to remove cases? Read More
Stephen Brookes, Assessor of the Personal Injury Panel of the Law Society, looks at the recent decision in Crawley v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Read More
The long running saga concerning the entitlement of an estranged adult child cut out of a deceased's parent's will is finally resolved, writes Donna Riley of Salmons Solicitors. Read More
The Government is still deluding itself in thinking that denial of access to justice will cause insurance premiums to fall. Read the full report here - Read More
Latest Government attempts to deny access to the courts are responded to by the Solicitors' profession. Read More
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers calls for a complete ban on nuisance calls about accident claims
APIL have issued recently a press release to try and persuade the Government to put an outright ban on intimidating cold callers pestering members of the public to make accident claims for accidents which they have never had. Read More
The Government's plans to prevent irritating claims being brought against their friends in the insurance industry continue to attract criticism. Read More
Stephen Brookes looks at two personal injury cases on either side of the fence; in the former case the claimant won but in the latter case the claimant failed. Read More
If ever there was a minefield in the application of applicable rules it is in the area of discrimination law. Stephen Brookes reviews the recent case of Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ( 2015) Read More
A recent case on the duty of swimming pool lifeguards confirms 1999 guidance Read More
Supreme Court decision changes the meaning of an unlawful penalty charge in contract law - Beavis v Parking Eye reviewed Read More
Working time might now include travel to and from the first and the last job for employees who are based at home. Read More
Following the decision of Salmons Solicitors to withdraw from all legal aid work upon the grounds of unsustainable remuneration levels, there is increasing pressure for criminal defence legal practices. Read More
Stephen Brookes reviews two recent personal injury claims where the claimants both failed. Read More
There can be few more fun pursuits than taking your off roader into difficult and challenging off road terrain, but before you do so, a cautionary word about a recent change of insurance law, writes Stephen Brookes. Read More
Stephen Brookes reviews the recent case of Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton on the inclusion of overtime into holiday pay calculations. Read More
Stephen Brookes reviews the decision of the Supreme Court in Coventry and Lawrence (2014) Read More
High Court Judge rules Government's Motor Insurers Compensation Scheme for uninsured drivers unlawful. The case is reviewed by our personal injury specialist Stephen Brookes Read More
Stephen Brookes reviews two recent cases dealing with the question of when an employer can be liable for injuries inflicted by a member of the workforce on another person Read More
Farah Gilani reviews a January 2014 case involving a prosecution over an unguarded piece of machinery. Read More
Stephen Brookes reviews a recent case involving an injury compensation claim brought by one friend against another arising out of the use of loaned leisure equipment. Read More