Anthony Harty v Sabre International Security Ltd (BVI) and Sabre International Security Ltd (Iraq)

Mr Justice MacDuff sitting in the High Court today handed down a damning Judgment refusing the Defendant companies attempt to prevent Anthony Harty’s claim for personal injuries continuing in the English Courts.

Tony Harty, served in the Royal Irish Rangers in both Northern Ireland and Kosovo until 2002. He subsequently lived in England with his wife and their son and undertook a series of contracts as a Private Security Operative including work in Iraq. He was recruited by Sabre in 2007 and had flown out to Iraq to work for them. On 6 August 2008 he sustained multiple serious injuries when an armoured vehicle in which he was travelling in a high speed convoy crashed, seemingly after a tyre blow out. Mr Harty was subsequently airlifted to a military hospital in Germany then home to England with the brain injury and physical injuries which he sustained. He has not subsequently been able to return to work and through lack of funds had to move back to Ireland to live with his family.

In delivery the Judgment against the Defendants Mr Justice MacDuff commented that:

“In spite of the Defendants’ submissions to the contrary I am entirely satisfied… that the claim has good prospects of success”.

He found that Sabre International Securities is used as a brand name for all parts of the Sabre organisation and is ambiguous as to which company is the contracting party commenting

“I rather tend to the view that that ambiguity was intentional”.

Mr Justice MacDuff commented that the Claimant was an innocent passenger in a vehicle belonging to the Defendants being driven under their supervision and control. He found that justice cannot and will not be done in Iraq because the First Defendant was immune from prosecution in Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority Order that was in force at that time. Consequently he found that justice required that the English Court should accept jurisdiction. He commented that:

“I am satisfied to a very high standard of proof that the Defence position has been manufactured and shaped over a period of time and is wholly disingenuous”.

Julian Chamberlayne, Partner and Head of International Injury department at Stewarts, commented:

“The Defendants have put Mr Harty through over 2 years of the most hard fought litigation that I have ever been involved in. Rather than accepting responsibility for Mr Harty’s injuries, as you would have expected of a responsible employer, they have fought tooth and nail to prevent him succeeding with his claim. This was a real David -v- Goliath battle which it will be impossible for people in Mr Harty’s situation to bring if the Government’s proposals to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s costs reforms are implemented.”

Tony Harty commented:

“I am hugely relieved that my claim can now at last proceed. I have spent the last 2 years trying to cope with the regular seizures I suffer as a result of this accident and not knowing whether or not my claim will even be allowed to proceed. It would have been impossible for me to bring this claim in Iraq as the Defendants were suggesting as we and all the men working in Iraq at that time knew that there was an immunity from the Iraqi legal process.”



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