In our last issue (C-Store, June 22) I featured Jaya Babykumar being targeted in what looked very much like a ‘trying it on’ scam (customer became ‘ill’ after drinking Ribena. So ill that she could just about crawl to the lawyers).
As instructed, Jaya informed her insurer and, as her cover was due to run out, she was told her premium would more or less double.
I showed the letter she received to Amrit Johal, an enthusiastic young solicitor who recently beat HMRC in the high court over customs steam-rollering through premises and doing booze swoops on a ‘hunch’ and thereby bankrupting businesses.
He has a fine sense of outrage (and is dismayed by these sort of firms, who threaten to sue for thousands and give the profession a bad name).
He said: “It is paramount that a response is provided to the last letter received. It is vital that a defence is raised on the basis that: proof is established by the claimant that the drink was purchased from the store; and, more importantly, the medical evidence relied upon by the claimant must be provided before there is question of settlement.”
He labelled the letter a red herring. There was no mention of a receipt for the purchase (there would not have been one as the store’s printer was not working) and no medical evidence.
The letter said settle first, then we will provide evidence.
Amrit did offer to advise Jaya but, in the meantime, she did manage to find cheaper insurance and her previous insurer sent one of its legal team to the store who said that a strongly worded letter to the Ribenagate lawyers should sort them out.