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Security man case to be heard in UK

Security man case to be heard in UK

A damages case brought by a security consultant who was injured in a road crash in Iraq will be heard in England.

Tony Harty, 34, was working for Sabre International Security Ltd when, in August 2008, the armoured vehicle he was in travelling in through Baghdad suffered a deflated tyre, causing the vehicle to leave the road and hit a drainage culvert.

The former member of the Royal Irish Rangers, who served in Northern Ireland and Kosovo until 2002, was airlifted to Germany where he was treated in a military hospital.

Mr Harty spent time recuperating in England with his wife and son, but his inability to work led to him moving back to County Kerry, Ireland.

Sabre asked the High Court to rule that it had no jurisdiction to decide the claim arising out of the company's alleged negligence, and that it must be heard in Iraq.

But, Mr Justice MacDuff, sitting in London, dismissed Sabre's case, commenting: "I am satisfied to a very high standard of proof that the defence position has been manufactured, shaped over a period of time, and is wholly disingenuous."

Mr Harty claimed that his contract was with the British Virgin Islands (BVI) registered company of Sabre International Security Ltd (formerly SIS Iraq Ltd), which, under the Coalition Provisional Authority Order, cannot be sued in Iraq.

But Sabre said that a sister company, also called Sabre International Security Ltd but registered in Iraq, had organised the convoy and any claim could only be brought against it there.

The judge said that he was "entirely persuaded" by the arguments on behalf of Mr Harty who, he ruled, was working at all times for the BVI company, which had also organised and supervised the convoy.

Commenting, Laura Thompson, Legal Executive in IBB's Personal Injury team, said: "In cases involving injuries which have occurred outside of England and Wales, a claimant should always be live to the issues of jurisdiction and any matters arising should be addressed as early as reasonably practicable.

"In this case, where the defendant is domiciled in England or Wales and a claim is brought against him, it seems quite clear on the basis of the High Court's judgment that this is the appropriate forum.

"A defendant operating within England and Wales and under the laws of this country should not be given any opportunity to avoid a legitimate claim simply because the accident occurred elsewhere."

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.