THE FLEXIBILITY OF MEDIATION

THE FLEXIBILITY OF MEDIATION

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

5 August 2021

ARBITRATION #149

What follows is a true story.

A happily married Husband, with three children under the age of 10, enjoys a typical family breakfast. Satchels are being filled; snacks stuffed into corners and homework of sorts is ready to be handed in. A kiss for the wife + the baby child in the highchair + he takes the older two to school – they scamper out of the car, wave a goodbye and the father drives to the station to catch his train to the City of London.

He never makes it. He has a car crash. He is killed. A tragic story. He is gone and the lives of his wife + the three children are blighted horrendously.

In due course, and after experts have trawled over the car and produced technical reports, the Wife meets with her solicitor. What Went Wrong? Who Is To Blame? The Husband’s firm have been sympathetic + have provided financial assistance + there are some savings but with two children in private schools finances are tight and the wife is anxious.

There is no suggestion of bad driving by the Husband. Clearly, the accident is not his fault. A new tyre burst; the car was out of control; it hit a tree with force and the Husband was killed.

Solicitor’s letters are written – to the garage that fitted the new tyre, to the tyre manufacturer and to the car manufacturer because of the suggestion of a faulty wheel design. The Wife has to put her Solicitors in funds. Nobody is admitting liability. The blame game is at work. Proceedings have to be commenced and the claim for damages are substantial.

Thus far the focus is on the Husband’s death and the cause of the accident. Litigation, not arbitration or mediation, is in full prospect. A prolonged legal process. Tensions are building. The Wife has lost her Husband. The Children have lost their Father. There are also elderly parents and siblings much upset.

What Happens Next?
Episode 2 6 August 2021.

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