You and the Law – 6th September 2011

Rap on the knuckles

A metal shutter fell on my hand at work.  I needed surgery and will have to undergo lengthy physiotherapy.  Two solicitors have declined to take on my case under a no-win, no-fee agreement, since they say I would have to prove the shutter was faulty.  Is there any other way I could pursue the claim?  LT

Trade unions will often take up this type of case on behalf of their members.  Alternatively you need to find a solicitor who specialises in workplace injuries and is familiar with health-and-safety rules, employers duties and so on.  It depends on the seriousness of your injury (and the compensation you might be awarded) as to the type of agreement you may be able to reach with the solicitor.  Consider funding the case yourself if all else fails.

Catalogue of debt

My husband recently left me.  He had several catalogue accounts and he told me to notify the catalogue companies because he didn’t want further contact with me.  So I told them his new address and where he works, but the post is being returned marked ‘not known’ and, since he works for a family firm, his employers are denying any knowledge of him.  What can I do to avoid paying his debts?  SH

You are not responsible for his debts, unless for example you are paying the catalogues from a direct debit set up on a joint account.  In that case you should seek to close or at least freeze the account and cancel the direct debits.  Otherwise contact the local authorityis electoral registration department so that your husband is no longer listed as living at your address, and also the credit reference agencies (Experian and
Equifax) to alter your file.  This should prevent damage to your personal credit rating.  And leave the catalogues to chase your husband for their money. They have plenty of experience of this.

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