Akenzua, Coy (Administrators of the Estate of Marcia Zena Laws (Deceased)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Comissioner of Police for the Metropolis: CA 23 Oct 2002

The claimant sought damages for misfeasance in public office. The defendant had been involved in the release of a person known to be violent from custody, and where he had subsequently killed a member of the claimant’s family. The family appealed a strike out of their claim following the decision in Three Rivers. Held Following that case, and in cases where the result was personal injury, it was no longer necessary to allege that the victim was to be identifiable, either himself, or as a member of an identifiable group, before the act complained of as a misfeasance. It was sufficient to aver that the person could not be identified until the act of violence. What mattered was showing that if released it was predictable that the person released might well kill someone. It remained necessary to show that the actual violence inflicted was of a kind with that which might be known to the defendant.


Simon Brown, Sedley Scott Baker, LLJ


Times 30-Oct-2002, Gazette 05-Dec-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 1470




England and Wales


CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Police

Updated: 25 October 2022; Ref: scu.177841