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Munn v North West Water Ltd

2 November 2000
The issues

Summary Judgment – precise pleadings.

The facts

The Claimant bought a property to run as a fish and chip shop. The cellar flooded on several occasions. The flood water contained raw sewage. The Claimant issued proceedings alleging that the flooding was as a result of the main sewage system failing. She sought damages for the failure of the fish and chip shop business. In her Particulars she did not identify the precise nature of the allegations of the nuisance that she wished to rely upon. The Defendant applied for Summary Judgment submitting that the claim had not real prospect of success. The Recorder granted Summary Judgment finding that the Defendant was maintaining the system to a level required of it given it’s considerable age. The Claimant appealed.

The decision

The appeal would be allowed. Part 24 was not design to deprive the Claimant where the issues of fact if found in their favour would potentially produce a successful outcome. The inadequacy of the Claimant’s pleading had to be viewed in the light of the available evidence which was suggestive of a reasonable prospect of success.

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