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

Price v Price, Court of Appeal, 26 June 2003

1 July 2003
The issues

Particulars of Claim – extension of time for service – CPR Part 3 Rule 9.

The facts

The Claimant had an accident, which occurred on the 5th May 1998. In January 2000 a Specialist was instructed to prepare a medical report in agreement with the Defendant’s. The Defendant heard no more until April 2001 when the Claim Form was served by the Court, but without Particulars of Claim, medical report or Schedule of Loss. When the Claim Form was served, the Defendant’s Insurers were told that the claim was expected to exceed £50,000.00. The Defendants repeatedly but unsuccessfully asked to see the medical report. In March 2002, without telling the Defendants, the Claimant’s Solicitors instructed a new medical expert whose report was served at the end of July 2002 with a Schedule of Special Damage revealing a claim for £548,170.00. This was the first notification to the Defendant that the Claimant had sustained a chronic and disabling back injury and that there was a future loss claim in the region of £60,000.00 rather than £60.00 per week. The Claimant applied for an extension of time to serve Particulars of Claim. The District Judge granted the extension. On Appeal to the Judge, the District Judge’s decision was set aside on the grounds that the delay had been deliberate, long and without explanation and that an extension of time in these circumstances would amount to an affront to civil justice. The Claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The decision

1. The Judge had been correct to set aside the District Judge’s decision because the District Judge had failed to deal with the matters set out in Part 3 Rule 9 of the CPR.

2. The Judge’s approach was flawed however because he had failed to give sufficient weight to the fact that the Claimant would be barred from bringing a claim worth over half a million pounds to him. Although the Judge weighed in the balance the prejudice to the Defendant, he did not apply an equal weighing exercise in respect of the prejudice to the Claimant.
3. Running through the checklist in Part 3 Rule 9, most of the matters appeared to be in favour of the Defendant. However, they were not sufficiently strong to deny the Claimant access to the Court completely, since this was his first default following institution of proceedings.

4. It would be proportionate to refuse an extension of time in these circumstances. The Claimant’s convention rights would not be prejudiced because it was necessary to ensure a fair Trial to both parties and it would not now be possible to deal with a case in a manner that was fair to both parties if an extension of time was granted unconditionally.

5. However, to bar the Claimant from pursuing the claim as it stood in April 2001, would be disproportionate and give the Insurers an unjustified windfall. Accordingly, the Appeal would be allowed to the extent that the Claimant would be permitted to serve Particulars of Claim out of time on condition that no claim was made for special or general damages other than might be substantiated by any medical report pre April 2001.

6. It was very important that the Court should not relax the disciplinary framework created by the Civil Procedural Rules.

focus on...

Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.

View

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

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