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Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:35 pm
by Lemmiwinks
Is accepting an ex gratia payment an automatic bar to bringing any future court proceedings?

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:22 pm
by atticus
No, not in the way the question is put, but:

1. were there any terms attached to an offer of the ex gratia payment? These may make the answer "yes" in the particular case.

2. You are likely to have to treat the ex gratia payment as a payment on account of any compensation or damages.

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:45 pm
by dls
It would be a most unusual ex gratia payment which did not include such strings.

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:24 pm
by Lemmiwinks
I'm trying to locate the letter that preceded the settlement cheque. It was over a year ago. From what I recall the agreement was the standard "full and final settlement of the claim."

The problem was that in the intervening period, a lengthy complaint and appeal process has taken place. Issues have come to light that were not known when the ex gratia payment was accepted: Data Protection issues that never formed part of the initial letter of claim.

The claim involved assault, battery, false imprisonment, unlawful seizure and retention of a digital device. Data from that device was then mishandled, and lost. The data was highly sensitive. The subsequent complaint revealed serious data protection breaches and a possible claim under s(13) of the DPA.

Can a separate cause of action be pursued off the same set of facts in this way, or would the "full and final settlement" take into account all potential claims, even those that were unknown at the time?

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:53 pm
by atticus
You had better find the letter, and any other related letters, documents etc. You need to know what claim or claims it is that you have agreed a full and final settlement of. It is quite possible that what you agreed was a full and final settlement of all claims that you might have.

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:19 pm
by dls
You do need to take great care on this. Interpretation of such documents is best left to someone who is used to it.

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:19 pm
by Lemmiwinks
I have the final letter. It states:

"On the basis of no admissions as to liability, I am instructed to pay you £1000 in full and final settlement of your claim for compensation. I enclose a cheque payable to you in the sum of £1000."

That's everything.

Re: Ex Gratia Payment

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:41 pm
by atticus
You say it is the *final* letter. I cannot say, but it is possible that earlier letters may be relevant.