The Court of Appeal has decided to reject Autofocus’ claim to witness immunity for a number of its former employees in its ongoing dispute with Accident Exchange over credit hire rates.
Accident Exchange has said it is happy about this, and that it will continue pursuing Autofocus for damages and get some previous cases back into court.
Autofocus are presumably less happy that their cunning plans to keep the evidence of allegedly dodgy former employees out of public view have come to nought.
Accident Exchange now intends to drag these non-immune witnesses into the High Court, claiming tantalisingly that “we (now) believe we have further evidence of dishonesty.”
Two cases involving evidence from one of these suspect employees (Archer v Skanska and Stewart v Rees) will now be reopened.
“We are delighted,” said Accident Exchange chief executive Steve Evans. Notwithstanding his frustration at six months’ delay whilst awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision, Steve went on the declare, succinctly, that:
‘Following today’s judgment in the Court of Appeal, we have decided to bring into the main action against Autofocus, as co-defendants, the majority of those 13 employees of Autofocus who left the business hurriedly in September 2009 and against whom we have evidence of improper behaviour in order that they can fully account for the investigations that they say they conducted on gathering hire rates, the veracity of the evidence they gave and the reasons for their rapid departure from Autofocus when our suspicions were aroused.”