DDJ Johnson, Liverpool CC, 2nd March 2012
The Defendant made an offer of zero for one head of loss in the Portal. The Claimant removed the claim from the Portal, claiming that the Defendant had breached the Portal rules.
When it came to costs the Claimant argued that the requirement to propose an amount for every head of damage (now para 7.41 RTA Protocol, 7.35 EL/PL Protocol) required the Defendant to propose a figure other than zero. They claimed that by offering zero, the Defendant was in breach of that requirement which justified their departure from the Portal.
However, the court found that an offer of zero was a perfectly valid offer. To find otherwise would be to find that a Defendant would have to offer at least 1p for any head of loss claimed, however ludicrous it might be. That could not be right.
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Whilst an offer of zero might be perfectly valid as an offer on one head of loss, it is unclear whether the situation would be the same if every head of loss had an offer of zero made.