Doctor prepares defamation action against insurer

The doctor accused of exaggerating whiplash injuries in compensation claims is preparing a defamation action against Ageas.

The insurer issued a press release claiming that Dr Grace Kerali was ordered to pay costs of £100,000 after a review of 1,000 cases found that the average recovery time diagnosed by Dr Kerali was 14 months compared to eight months from other doctors.

Analysis of the 126 cases in which she was involved found the minimum prognosis she stated was 11 months, leading to significantly higher damages.

Andy Watson, chief executive of Ageas, said at the time, ‘Disrupting Dr Kerali’s medico-legal work provides definite financial benefit to us, customers, and the wider insurance industry, especially given the fact that, on her own evidence, she was preparing up to 2,000 medical reports per year.’

However, Dr Kerali said the Ageas press release was ‘wholly inaccurate and professionally damaging’. She insisted her evidence and methodology were supported by a leading surgeon and claimed the word ‘guilty’ suggested criminal proceedings when the case was a civil claim in the county court.

The doctor’s legal team also said that Ageas was wrong to say that she had ‘been ordered’ to pay costs, insisting that she is not under any court order to pay costs. They claim that Ageas has undermined the integrity of her work and her professionalism.