Lawyers expect whiplash reforms to drag beyond October 2018

first_imgLawyers have been told to assume the government will not push through whiplash reforms before October 2018. Simon Stanfield, chairman of the Motor Accidents Solicitors’ Society, told the group’s annual conference today that he expects the original deadline will ‘certainly be missed’.The Ministry of Justice is tasked with pushing through the Civil Liability Bill, one of few pieces of legislation included in this year’s Queen’s speech. The bill, which is yet to be published, is expected to include a tariff for reduced RTA claims compensation and a ban on insurers making offers before victims have had a medical.These reforms were set to come into force at the same time as an increase in the small claims limit to £5,000 for RTA claims.Stanfield, whose group is in regular discussions with the MoJ, said full implementation may still be ‘some way off’, having been put back in the government’s priorities behind Brexit and other justice issues. The delay, said Stanfield, has created a great deal of uncertainty but has at least enabled legal firms to look again at their business model and consider how to survive in a different regulatory environment.But the Simpson Millar solicitor said the time delay also undermined part of the government’s case for making the reforms in the first place. ‘The government wanted to disincentivise minor, exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims,’ he said. ‘Since then, tackling fraud has all but dropped off the government’s stated justifications for its so-called whiplash reforms. Fraudulent behaviour – which never was at a level suggested by the newspaper headlines – appears to be on the wane, with many cash-for-crash gangs busted by the combined efforts of the various intelligence and investigative bodies.’Stanfield said MASS would continue to oppose the government’s plans, saying they create too many loopholes and leave the market open for unregulated firms.On the discount rate, the calculation for adjusting compensation based on expected returns from investments, Stanfield said former justice secretary Liz Truss had taken the right decision ‘both legally and morally’ to alter the rate from 2.5% to -0.75%. ‘The reaction to the change in the discount rate was as predictable as it was disappointing,’ he added. ‘The previous rate was simply not adequately compensating seriously injured people for their future losses in the way the law intended.’last_img read more

Florida postpones O’Connell Center renovation for year

first_imgGAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A $60 million renovation to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, originally scheduled to begin in March, has been postponed a year.The school announced the delay Wednesday, saying a change in construction companies led to the postponement.New university president Kent Fuchs says it’s “incumbent on us to take the time and do it right.”The delay will allow the new construction team to finish design plans, which are about 60 percent complete.All athletic events typically held in the O’Connell Center are expected to continue without interruption for the 2015-16 season, including men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley says “we remain 100 percent committed to this project. The $60 million that we have already earmarked for the project is indicative of this commitment.”last_img read more

Torre’s fate still unknown

first_img“Have some patience. Things take time. There will be a process and we’ll work through that, and it will lead us where it leads us,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “My speculation is I’m not going to have anything to report in the next couple of days.” Few players were at Yankee Stadium, a day after their season-ending 6-4 loss to Cleveland, the third straight year New York was eliminated in the first round. But folks everywhere chimed in and backed Torre, from rival AL managers Terry Francona and Eric Wedge to presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Chien-Ming Wang, Doug Mientkiewicz, Andy Phillips and Jose Molina were among the Yankees who showed up at the ballpark and packed their gear for the long winter. Don Mattingly, mentioned as a possible replacement along with Joe Girardi and Tony La Russa, said succeeding Torre would be difficult, akin to following John Wooden. Steinbrenner said last weekend he didn’t think he’d bring Torre back unless New York rallied to win the first-round series. The 77-year-old owner has not spoken publicly since the Game 4 defeat. From news services The wait is on for Joe Torre and his Yankees players, a fiercely loyal bunch. Nearly everyone in New York wanted to know Tuesday whether owner George Steinbrenner will keep his longtime manager or let him go after 12 straight playoff appearances. No answers yet. His spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, released a statement Tuesday that said Steinbrenner was heading back home to Tampa, Fla., and would have no comment “at this time.” ETC.: Alex Rodriguez is ready to cash in. Again. Agent Scott Boras hinted that A-Rod will opt out of the final three seasons of his contract with the Yankees and seek a new deal in the free-agent market that will lock him up through his pursuit of Barry Bonds’ home-run record. Boras negotiated Rodriguez’s record $252 million, 10-year agreement with the Texas Rangers before the 2001 season, a contract the Yankees took over when they acquired A-Rod before the 2004 season. Around the leagues Diamondbacks: Manager Bob Melvin will stick with the same rotation in the NL Championship Series that he used – or planned to use – in the division series against the Cubs. After ace Brandon Webb goes in Game 1 against Colorado on Thursday night, Arizona will start lefty Doug Davis in Game 2 Friday. Right-hander Livan Hernandez will be the Game 3 starter on Sunday night, followed by rookie right-hander Micah Owings in Game 4 on Monday. … Buying a ticket should be no problem for anyone who wants to attend the first two games of the NLCS. About 8,000 seats remain available for Thursday and Friday, Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said. Red Sox: Two days after helping the Red Sox finish off the Angels in the first round, Curt Schilling was tabbed to start the second game of the best-of-7 series against Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona. Josh Beckett will start the opener on Friday night against C.C. Sabathia. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched the second game in the first round, will start Game 3 against Jake Westbrook. Tigers: The team decided Ivan Rodriguez was worth another $13 million. The Tigers exercised an option on the All-Star catcher’s contract, retaining him for a fifth season at a hefty price. Phillies: Manager Charlie Manuel agreed to a two-year contract with a club option for 2010, keeping around the folksy manager who led the franchise to its first NL East title since 1993. Astros: Longtime radio announcer Milo Hamilton was recovering in a Houston hospital after having a heart attack over the weekend. The 80-year-old Hamilton underwent an angioplasty, had a stent put in and was doing well, the team said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more