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

McGhie v British Telecommunications Plc, Court of Appeal, 18 January 2005

28 January 2005
The issues

Limitation – Proportionality – Section 33 Limitation Act 1980

The facts

The Claimant injured his back at work whilst working for the Defendant in 1988. Five years later he issued proceedings alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty. He issued the proceedings after having an operation for a prolapsed disc which made him considerably better and on hearing from a previous Manager, that he should have been sent on a training course and provided with special equipment when he was doing the job that caused his injury. The medical evidence indicated that the Claimant had a pre-existing history of back problems. The Defendant pleaded limitation and the matter was heard as a preliminary issue. The Judge exercised his discretion under Section 33 in the Claimant’s interest. The Judge had not applied the statutory test under Section 33 but had rather based his decision on the fact that the Claimant had been devoted to his job and had acted reasonably.

The Judge had referred to proportionality but had not evaluated the issue and no reference had been made to the balance of prejudice. The Claimant’s pleaded case on liability was based on hearsay and there was no evidence of what a prudent employer would have done in 1988 or any evidence of any training or special equipment would have avoided the accident. Taking into account both the modest nature of the claim and the balance of prejudice test, it would be wrong to exercise the discretion to allow the claim to proceed out of time.

Appeal allowed.

focus on...

Legal updates

Contingent loss in negligence claims

Contingent loss is relevant to limitation; specifically, the date at which a claimant’s cause of action accrues for the purposes of a claim in the tort of negligence (as many claims against professional advisers are framed).


Legal updates

Legal and regulatory monthly update - September 2019

The latest update covering delegated authority, insurance product development, the senior insurance managers regime, data protection, operational control frameworks, Lloyds market, and horizon scanning.


Legal updates

Kuoni referred to the CJEU by Supreme Court for clarification - possible impact on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility claims for sexual abuse and assault

We were hoping to be able to give you some interesting insights following the judgment of X v Kuoni Travel Ltd but that will have to wait for another day.


Legal updates

The disappearance of LIBOR

Companies should undertake a comprehensive review and audit to identify those products and legacy contracts that are LIBOR-linked and carry out an in-depth risk assessment of discontinuation. Where possible, companies should look at appointing an individual to oversee the programme.


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