*Lackey v Mallorca Mega Resorts SL and another company

Conflict of laws – Jurisdiction. The claimant sustained a fracture dislocation to her cervical spine while in a pool at a hotel in Mallorca, which was operated by the first defendant (the hotel). She brought a claim against the hotel's insurer (which was the second defendant) and the hotel, under the Recast Brussels Regulation 1215/2012. The Queen's Bench Division granted the hotel relief from sanctions to challenge its jurisdiction to determine the claim. However, the court dismissed the application challenging its jurisdiction, holding that, on the ordinary reading of reg 13(3) of the Regulation, the existence of the claim against the hotel's insurer permitted an additional, related, claim against the hotel (as the insured). The court ruled that it was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in Hoteles Pinero Canarias SL v Keefe[2015] All ER (D) 213 (Jun), which held that there was no linguistic or purposive ground for requiring that there be some kind of policy dispute between insurer and insured for reg 13(3) of the Regulation to bite. Further, and among other things, the court held that there was nothing in regs 17 or 18 of the Regulation (which enabled a 'consumer' to bring proceedings' against the other party to the contract in the courts of the consumer's domicile, providing that the counterparty had directed its commercial activities to that member state) to say that that consumer had to be the one who had actually concluded the contract. It held that a person who had contracted through an agent had still 'concluded' a contact. Accordingly, the court ruled that the claimant, whose friend had made the group booking for the holiday to Mallorca, qualified as a consumer and that the court had jurisdiction over the claim under regs 17 and 18 of the Regulation also.

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