Breaking News: Judicial Review confirms that final decisions are final

Our congratulations to David Lock QC and Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors who have won another very important Judicial Review against Cheshire Constabulary in the Manchester Administrative Court on the 14th March 2018. It centres around whether an SMP who is considering an injury award can revisit the same questions already answered during the ill-health retirement process. IODPA receives a lot of correspondence over this issue, and the judgement reinforces the rights of injured officers and should provide some certainty to those who have been ill-health retired and are seeking an injury award.

The case involved Mark Evans an officer from Cheshire Constabulary, who in 2007 following a number of on duty incidents was deemed to be disabled by reason of (i) mechanical back pain, and (ii) post-traumatic stress disorder, and that that disablement was likely to be permanent. Evans was not ill-health retired, but retained on non-operational clerical roles.

In 2015, the force reconsidered whether that state of affairs should continue and an assessment by Dr Pilkington, a new SMP concluded that he was permanently disabled on the basis of “significant degenerative changes in his right shoulder“, but that his PTSD “would not be expected to constitute a permanent incapacity“. He was required to retire on the grounds of permanent disablement.

Evans then applied for an injury on duty award, and his case was referred to a third SMP, Dr Walsh. Dr Walsh concluded the claimant had a permanent disability as a result of “significant degenerative changes in his right shoulder joint“, but again rejected the claim of PTSD. Evans was awarded band 1.

Evans appealed the decision to the PMAB, who disagreed that he had any permanent disablement at all, and therefore he did not qualify for an injury award.

The case hinged on whether following the initial determination of Dr Hutton, the PMAB were entitled to reconsider under the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, the following questions that had already been decided under the Police Pension Regulations 1987,

(a) whether the person concerned is disabled
(b) whether the disablement is likely to be permanent

Mr Justice LANE quashed the decision of the PMAB stating “police officers who are required to retire on the grounds of permanent disablement are entitled to a degree of finality in respect of their entitlement to pensions. A police officer who has to retire as a result of what is then considered to be permanent disablement caused in the line of duty should not be at the mercy of a subsequent medical assessment, that he or she was not, in fact, permanently disabled“.

You can read the full judgement here – http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2018/952.html

Ron Thompson from Haven Solicitors has provided the following press release.

 

Haven Press Release - Evans

 

 

Breaking News: Judicial Review confirms that final decisions are final
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24 thoughts on “Breaking News: Judicial Review confirms that final decisions are final

  • 2018-05-03 at 10:35 pm
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    My force FMA is a nice man.

    So I’m I’ll health retired and apply for an injury award. FMA asks questions a) and b) again as opposed to just c) and d) i.e injury on duty and degree of disablement.

    So I query it and he told me it’s the advice Nicholas Wirz the self styled Pensions expert had advised during training. Wirz I’m an ex officer in a Midlands force, wind your neck in.

    Wirz is a poor lawyer and after getting his arse and that of Northumbria kicked in Crudace, Howarth, Simpson and Fisher x 2 he still peddles his quack law, must have top cover.

  • 2018-05-03 at 10:28 pm
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    The Police Federation of England and Wales must be congratulated. They funded the case, the focus is on protecting the protectors.

  • 2018-05-01 at 1:09 pm
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    Well done to all!!!
    So what is the impact of this line “ A police officer who has to retire as a result of what is then considered to be permanent disablement caused in the line of duty should not be at the mercy of a subsequent medical assessment, that he or she was not, in fact, permanently disabled” on reviews?
    When retired and permanently disabled at X degree of disability, is a pensioner not entitled to “a degree of finality “ rather than having to live not only with the disability but also with the stress and fear that someone (as has been seen in the past) will try to save money by cutting injury pensions.
    Is the pension more disability more permanent than the injury if so how?

  • 2018-04-28 at 7:54 pm
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    Excellent result and a common sense finding.

  • 2018-04-27 at 10:36 am
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    This is an excellent result for all IODs, and quite rightly so. Perhaps just perhaps IODs may now have a degree of peace and comfort in their lives.

  • 2018-04-27 at 8:08 am
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    Congratulations to David Lock QC, Ron Thompson of Havan, and all the support members making this possible, well done.

    A great line by Mr Justice Lane, when he states “Entitled to a degree of Finality in respect of their Entitlement to Pensions” and “Should not be at the Mercy of a subsequent medical assessment , the he or she was not in fact permanently disabled”

    Well done IODPA

  • 2018-04-26 at 8:26 pm
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    Well done Ron T & David Lock and congratulations to Mark for this victory. Like another recent case this JR reinforces existing case law. The PMAB aka Health Management Ltd a private company contracted by the Home Office to provide the ‘services’ of the PMAB, yet again decided that their opinion is superior to the High Court. Proved wrong yet again…………

  • 2018-04-26 at 4:33 pm
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    Another JR lost by a force.
    When will they start to read the Regulations, but more to the point when will they start to follow them.
    This defeat after defeat must get very expensive and as it’s public money, someone needs to be held accountable for commencing these cases when they have no obvious chance of success.
    Best bit of advice: READ THE REGULATIONS!!!

  • 2018-04-26 at 4:27 pm
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    Another wonderful result and here’s to the start of many more! The legal support with IODPA are the best! They will turn the tide of all the unlawful, harassing and bullying methods of the forces who think they can do as they like to save money. Hopefully every single IOD pensioner will soon know about IODPA and how they help us to get our true rights.

    The forces these days are changing what used to be a police officer having a worthwhile career with a good pension, at the end of a 30 year commitment to dedicate their lives to the maintainance of law and order, and the sure security of an IOD pension if seriously injured whilst doing that job. It is becoming less certain of much, if any, protection for the public, let alone any injured officers.

    Thank you IODPA, thank you Ron Thompson, thank you David Locke! RIGHT IS THE TRUE MIGHT!

  • 2018-04-26 at 4:19 pm
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    Excellent result well done guys and all the work done behind the scenes without people like you fighting our corner we would be sitting ducks the result will help numerous pensioners down the line
    Thanks again great result
    Colin

  • 2018-04-26 at 4:01 pm
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    Northumbria, Staffordshire and Essex police, take note of this and learn.

    We are coming for you.

  • 2018-04-26 at 3:58 pm
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    Great Victory, well done to all the team concerned. At last, we have a voice that will be listened to.

  • 2018-04-26 at 3:39 pm
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    Surprise surprise the police have lost again. I wonder if forces decided to do it right how much money they would save? I personally beleive that it is great and it always makes for interesting reading.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if IOD’s were treated properly and with respect for the service they have given.

  • 2018-04-26 at 2:04 pm
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    This is an excellent result and the right result. I’m so pleased for all involved at this positive outcome.

  • 2018-04-26 at 12:16 pm
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    Justice and common sense prevail. This is an important judgement which forces should take note of before they blithely commence an attempt to destroy former officer’s lives.

  • 2018-04-26 at 11:51 am
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    Well done Ron Thompson and Haven Solicitors. Their strapline, “Right Against Might,” could not be more appropriate.

    Well done for yet another police injury on duty pension JR success, David Lock, QC.

    It is interesting that this is the eminent QC who, through his public and free publishings, has tried hard to warn police forces of just how wrong they are in these matters. He has highlighted through his public advice how police forces are breaching regulations and behaving unlawfully when requesting full medical records from police pensioners .

    The same David Lock, QC who forces have dismissed, stating that it is only his personal opinion.

    The same David Lock whose opinion seems to be the one courts prefer in these matters.

    Isn’t it time there was some sort of public review in relation to how Forces and SMP’s continually get it so wrong in relation to injury on duty pension matters? Cynics would suggest that so many repeated mistakes must be deliberate.

    JR after JR criticise the way injured and ill police officers are treated. JR after JR have successful outcomes for the pensioner in these matters and yet forces (and their minions being paid to assist them) continue to make the same ‘mistakes’.

    There is an element of satisfaction watching forces lose at JR over and over again but that can never come close to repairing the devastation and upset caused to deserving police pensioners like Mark Evans.

    Well done, Mark for pursuing not only what is rightfully yours, but what is right. I sincerely hope that you can find some peace for now, in readiness for when Cheshire follow suit and relentlessly hound you and other poorly pensioners in an attempt to review your award by what ever unlawful means it sees fit.

    We continue the fight for fairness, justice and truth and remember what Napoleon said;. “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.”

  • 2018-04-26 at 11:17 am
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    Well done. I am sure in a very small number of cases “disablement” was used to get rid of an officer who was injured and therefore a liability to keep on full pay. Later reviewing that and reducing the pension with no chance of resuming his position in the force and therefore gaining a full term pension. Thankfully the Met under the Home Office only briefly considered that and very soon decided that was not the way to treat police officers who were retired on whatever grounds.There was also a move at some time to say that once an officer reached 65 retirement age then his disability pension should cease as it was to compensate for loss of earning ability and as he was now officially retired that no longer needed to be paid. Again the Met did not try to do that as your loss of earning potential also meant a loss of ability to increase any police pension from other employment. All this has caused considerable stress to some officers who had no idea from day to day if they would continue to receive an award and therefore could not plan their financial future with any degree of certainty. It appears that certainty is now much closer until some bright spark thinks up another way of saving money to the detriment of retired officers.

  • 2018-04-26 at 11:10 am
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    Common sense prevails.
    Well done to those involved.

  • 2018-04-26 at 10:53 am
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    Congratulations to David Lock QC, Ron and all at Haven Solicitors.
    Another potential route to injustice closed once an for all.
    With IODPA’s help and via our expert legal teams, let’s hope we can continue to close off others too, so that forces and HR Managers have no choice, but to act legally and in the interests of the former officer, not the budget!

  • 2018-04-26 at 10:44 am
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    Another result by David Lock QC and Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors! Great news that proves yet again that IODPA are on the right track with their advice and assistance to those already on an injury pension and, as importantly, those serving officers who are seeking injury awards.

  • 2018-04-26 at 10:42 am
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    Well done to Ron and David! Another great win for police pensioners. With such a formidable legal team on board, former injured police officers are now getting the justice they deserve.

  • 2018-04-26 at 10:38 am
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    Therefore, Police authorities and the Home Office want it ‘ every which way ‘. They are able to review Officers on the grounds of recovery from injuries and re-band them, and yet the courts say that the injured officers require some financial certainty in their retirement. Which one is it?

    There is no certainty by the fact that Forces can revisit an officers medical circumstances for pension purposes.

    • 2018-04-26 at 11:24 am
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      If the medics say an officer is no longer disabled then he should be offered re-employed with full benefits backdated from the time he was forcibly retired. That should slow them down a bit.

  • 2018-04-26 at 10:37 am
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    Another victory, unstoppable!!

Comments are closed.