Having Another Go (Update)
October 16, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Graham Calvert, the 28-year-old U.K. greyhound trainer who hit the headlines earlier this year in litigation with gambling group William Hill over a five-month, out-of-control betting spree that cost him £2 million, is back.
The U.K. newspaper The Times reports this week that Calvert has launched an appeal against the ruling that threw out his case, repeating his contention that the betting company had failed in its duty of care toward him as a clearly compulsive gambler.
In February this year Calvert sued the gambling company in the High Court, alleging that William Hill allowed him to continue on his disastrous betting run and even to open a credit account after he had asked it to stop taking his money under its "self-exclusion" policy.
Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC, representing Calvert, told a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal this week that on the facts found by the High Court judge his client should have won.
In February, Mr Justice Briggs had ruled that although a bookmaker was not liable in negligence over the gambling losses of a customer with a problem, a bookmaker who had undertaken to prohibit such a customer for a period had a duty to take reasonable care to enforce the prohibition.
Browne-Wilkinson said the judge was wrong to dismiss Calvert's case on the grounds that his pathological gambling would still have led to his financial ruin and therefore William Hill did not cause him any financial or other loss.
"The judge accepted that the respondent [William Hill] owed a duty of care to the claimant following the self-exclusion policy and that the respondent breached that duty of care by allowing telephone betting.
"He also found that but for that breach, losses sustained by the claimant of nearly £2 million would not have been sustained.
"We say that if the judge had applied the correct principles of law, the findings were such, subject to the question of contributory negligence, to establish that my client’s claim succeeded."
He said the judge's analysis as to what would have happened if the losses had not been made was "misconceived and legally irrelevant".
The case continues …