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

Baird v Thurrock Borough Council, Court of Appeal, 7 November 2005

24 November 2005
The issues

Judge’s failure to give adequate reasons for preferring Claimant’s evidence

The facts

The Claimant was a dustman working for the Defendant local authority. A dustcart had two hoists at the rear for lifting bins and emptying them into the dustcart. The Claimant’s case was that the automatic operation of the hoist had cut in unexpectedly and despite the fact that he had overridden the automatic action with the right hand hoist and that he had been hit by the bin as it lowered. Two witnesses who worked with the Claimant said at Trial that the right hand hoist had been in the raised position after the accident and that if this had not been the case they could not have driven the cart away with the bin attached.

The Judge found the Claimant truthful and his evidence supported by the evidence of the joint expert. The Defendant appealed on the grounds that the Judge had failed to give any adequate reasons.

The decision

The Judge was entitled to express his views briefly. He had to express them clearly however. The Judge must address the main evidential conflicts and identify why the Judge found as he did. In this case it was unclear whether the Judge understood the importance of the evidence of the two witnesses. There was no finding as to whether the right hand bin had been up or down when the dustcart had driven off. The Judge had not said in what way the witness’s evidence was untruthful or inaccurate. The evidence of the joint expert was neutral as between the two accounts. In these circumstances the decision could not stand.

Appeal allowed. Re-trial ordered.

focus on...

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.


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.


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.


Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.


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