lady justice

ACSO comments on Supreme Court dismissing Rabot mixed-injury appeal

Posted on Tue, 26/03/2024

Responding to the Supreme Court's unanimous decision to reject the ABI's Rabot appeal and instead accept the Sadler approach (by which the whiplash tariff is added to damages set out in common law and then a ‘step back’ taken to account for overlap in injuries), Matthew Maxwell Scott, Executive Director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), said:

"This looks the right call, and is a sensible middle ground which protects consumers both as injured parties and as policy holders.

“The insurer case always looked weak, as the wording of the Civil Liability Act is unambiguous and if they want this changed it is to Parliament they must look, not to the courts.

“It’s good news that the wheels of justice have moved quickly here. With the judgment affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year, the huge backlog of cases can now start to be cleared and people get the compensation they are due. Moreover, insurers will be able to reserve more accurately and use this to bring average premiums down from their record highs.

"It is now down to the wider sector to work together to agree the frameworks which will allow claims to settle quickly. Importantly, it will also take many potential claims out a courts system which is struggling badly.

"But even after this defeat, it would be naive to think that insurers will give up their long-running campaign to remove general damages entirely in lower-value personal injury cases, and so those of us who believe that consumers hurt through no fault of their own deserve proper redress must keep up their guard.

"While it is understandable from a commercial standpoint that the insurance industry felt it had to take this case all the way to the highest court, it would be refreshing if it now applied its laser-like focus elsewhere, for example on reducing frictional costs and improving claims processes.

"Meanwhile we await with great interest the Financial Conduct Authority's report on how much the whiplash reforms have saved premium holders. As sure as night follows day, we expect the insurers to say that the savings would have been greater if only the legislation applied to non-whiplash injuries, too. As the Supreme Court today confirmed, it does not."

The full judgment can be seen at

The ACSO report on mixed-injury claims can be read at