0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Royal Brompton Hospital National Health Service Trust v Hammond and Others

14 May 2001
The issues

Striking Out – CPR – Considerations For The Court

The facts

The work began in 1987 and was completed in May 1990, 43 weeks late. Additional payment for the contract price had been made already by October 1992 and a further 17 million pounds were claimed in May 1990. Brompton brought proceedings to recover damages for breach of contact from the Project Managers and others.

A Liability Trial occurred in October 2000. The Trial Judge expressed a doubt as to whether the evidence in the witness statements established the breaches of contract and the negligence alleged. Submissions followed over 4 days as to whether allegations should be struck out. Certain allegations were struck out and others excluded and the Trial proceeded on a question of law which the Judge answered in the negative dismissing the claim against the consultants.

Brompton appealed both against the initial order striking out and excluding the Judge’s final determination. Brompton’s case was that the claim should not have been struck out and they should either have been heard or tried.

The decision

Part 24 enabled the Court to give summary judgment on a particular claim or issue. The test was whether the Claimant had no real prospect of succeeding on the claim or issue. It was whether there was a real prospect of success in the sense that the prospect was realistic rather than fanciful. It appeared that the Trial Judge had determined the issues on a balance of probabilities. The procedure he had adopted was wrong for 6 reasons.

i) Part 24 provided for summary judgment. The standard was a real prospect of success. It would be surprising if the Court could give judgment out of trial adopting the standard applicable to a trial.

ii) The practice direction to Part 24 made clear that the Court should consider the evidence reasonably expected to be available at trial. The Judge did not consider what might arise during the Trial. He knew or must have known that the totality of evidence the parties wished to bring was unlikely to be in the witness statements.

iii) The procedure set out was intended to deal with making most effective use of the Court’s resources. Striking out hopeless cases at an early stage. To graft that on to a further procedure at trial was only to encourage delay and increased costs.

iv) The Judge’s procedure created difficulties in deciding the effect of the order made. It was uncertain if it was a final judgment binding both parties. If it was an interim decision it amounted to a summary disposal.

v) Despite the wide powers in Rule 1.4 summary disposal did not contemplate a preliminary trial adopting standard proof applicable to a Trial. Summary disposal under that rule was equivalent to an additional to that provided for other Rule 24.

vi) The Judge had power to make an exclusion order. Finality however could only have been achieved by a stay or a strike out. It was not appropriate to exclude a claim that was arguable on the pleadings. Both orders would be set aside.

training and events

4Feb

Insurer Insight event London office

Developed for insurers, this exclusive series of events will provide you with operational and practical insights from across the legal spectrum.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

Insurance Product Value and the duty to act in the best interests of customers: risks from intermediary remuneration

On 19 November 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published “Finalised guidance” (FG19/5) for “insurance product manufacturers and distributors”.

View

Legal updates

Financial Services – ‘Duty of Care’ Bill: consumer protection or damp squib?

The Financial Services Duty of Care Bill (the “Bill”) was introduced into the House of Lords in October 2019 and had its second reading on 9 January 2020.

View

Legal updates

Noise-induced hearing loss claims – documentation and the expert engineer

Guest writer, Finch Consulting Senior Consultant Teli Chinelis applies his expertise in preparing engineering reports in relation to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims to explain information that is required from the claimant and information that is required and is advisable to be retained by employers, in order to ensure that claims can be fairly represented.

View

Legal updates

SRA Standards and Regulations November 2019

On Monday 25 November the 2011 SRA Handbook is replaced by the 2019 SRA Standards and Regulations (often referred to as STARS).This is the 26th version of the Code of Conduct for Solicitors.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up