A review of health and safety laws by a Tory peer is understood to recommend that the activities of personal injury and negligence lawyers should be curbed.
The recommendation is one of 40 in a review of health and safety legislation by Lord Young of Graffham, a former trade secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s Government.
He is understood to recommend that the Government takes forward recommendations from an earlier review by an appeal court judge which suggested ways to crack down on no win no fee lawyers.
In a well-received report published in January, Lord Justice Jackson had said no win, no fee cases were not benefiting the public. In the past three years the cost of health negligence claims alone has jumped by a third to £770million.
The scheme was “the most bizarre and expensive system that it is possible to devise”, he said.
Currently the losing side has to pay the winning lawyers’ “success fees”, and, with other expenses, can be left with a bill four times the cost of the action.
Lord Justice Jackson proposed that each side should pay its own lawyers, with success fees capped at 25 per cent of the payout to encourage competition.
Lord Young is also understood to recommend that schools should not be liable for accidents on trips unless there is a “reckless disregard” for safety.
Earlier this week Sir Ranulph Fiennes complained that schools were stopping children from going on trips because of fears they could be sued if someone was injured.
The explorer blamed television adverts from personal injury law firms for encouraging a “blame claim” culture in schools.
Lord Young also wants to give people the right to challenge councils which ban firework displays, street parties and concerts on health and safety grounds.
Organisers could get the right to challenge banning decisions with an independent ombudsman.
Another recommendation is that police and ambulance staff should be exempt from lawsuits if they breach health and safety rules if they are helping others or stopping a crime.
There was controversy three years ago when Jordan Lyon, 10, drowned in a pond after rescuing his younger sister.
Police Community Support officers stood by because they had not carried out the necessary “water rescue” health and safety training.
Lord Young is set to unveil details of his report, which will be published later this month, in a speech to the Conservative party conference over the weekend.
In a seminar organised by health and safety professionals three weeks ago he attacked the “involuntary consequences of well-meant legislation” which was originally meant to protect people’s health at work.
He said it was essential to stop treating health and safety as a joke and instead start treating it as a serious issue.
Source and Acknowledgement: Daily Telegraph