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Heckman v Hounslow LBC

2 November 2000
The issues

Gale -v- Superdrug – admissions – attempts to resile from admissions

The facts

The Claimant had an RTA in February 1996. The insurer admitted liability in an open letter. The Claimant indicated he would therefore take no further steps on liability. There was an issue as to the tracing of a vehicle involved in the accident. Negotiations ensued but proceedings were issued in February 1999. The admission was relied upon in the Particulars. The Defence denied liability. The Claimant argued that if the brake failure on which the denial was now based had been raised previously the Claimant would have commenced action against MIB in respect of the other un-traced vehicle. He could no longer do so. The Defendant sought to rely upon Gale. (There is no indication as to whether this was a fast track or multi track case).

The decision

Gale did not survive the coming into force of the new rules as the new rules purposes was to make litigation more certain. Rule 14 gave the Court the power to admit a party to withdraw from an admission but the burden rested upon the party applying.

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