The deceased had begun an action on becoming ill after exposure to asbestos by the defendant. He withdrew his action after receiving expert evidence that his illness was unrelated. A post-mortem examination showed this evidence to be mistaken. His widow sought to pursue an action, but it was claimed that this was out of time.
Held: The first action was timeous. Section 33 was not available to the widow to provide a discretion for the judge to allow her action. Time began running for her on receipt of the post mortem report. There were no exceptional circumstances to justify the availability of any discretion in the judge. As to Walkley: ‘The rationale of the Walkley principle is, as already explained, that it is not the time limit in section 11 which prejudices the claimant in such circumstances but rather the fact that he had previously commenced timeous proceedings which, for whatever reason, were not then successfully pursued.’
Lord Justice Laws Lord Justice Mummery Lord Justice Simon Brown
 EWCA Civ 1034, Times 18-Jul-2003,  1 WLR 2868,  1 WLR 2868
Limitation Act 1980 11 12 33
England and Wales
Cited – Walkley v Precision Forgings Ltd HL 1979
The plaintiff tried to bring a second action in respect of an industrial injury claim outside the limitation period so as to overcome the likelihood that his first action, although timeous, would be dismissed for want of prosecution.
Held: He . .
Cited – Shapland v W Palmer CA 23-Mar-1999
The plaintiff’s car was struck by a company car driven by the defendant in the course of her employment and she sought damages. Her action, against the employer, was struck out as late under the 1980 Act. She then commenced an action against the . .
Cited – Thompson v Brown Construction (Ebbw Vale) Ltd HL 1981
The plaintiff’s solicitors, out of negligence, failed to issue a writ until one month after the limitation period had expired. The application to extend the period was rejected at first instance since he had an unanswerable claim against his . .
Cited – White v Glass CA 17-Feb-1989
The plaintiff had sued his club under its name, but it was an unincorporated association, and the action was stricken out as improperly constituted. The first writ issued within the primary limitation period but was ineffective. The defendant . .
Cited – Jonathan Andrew Mcevoy v A A Welding and Fabrication Ltd CA 1998
Where a first writ issued within the primary limitation period is itself ineffective (although not a nullity) through having been issued variously without consent against a company in liquidation.
Held: The Walkley principle does not apply to . .
Cited – Re Workvale Ltd (In Liquidation) CA 8-Apr-1992
A limited company was correctly restored to the register from dissolution so that its insurers could face an arguable claim. Where a first writ issued within the primary limitation period was ineffective (although not a nullity) through having been . .
Cited – Piggott v Aulton (Deceased) CA 29-Jan-2003
The claimant had issued proceedings against the deceased after his death, but before a personal representative had been appointed. They later discontinued and re-issued against the person appointed by the court to defend the action. The defendant . .
Cited – Deerness v John R Keeble and Son (Brantham) Ltd HL 1983
The plaintiff suffered very serious injuries as a passenger in a car, and a writ was issued within the three-year period against the driver and the owner of the car whose insurers made a substantial interim payment. The writ was not served, nor . .
Cited – Clay v Chamberlain QBD 2002
The claimant sought the judge’s discretion to disapply the rule in Walkley. The judge characterised the defendant’s conduct as ‘though not improper, sufficiently blameworthy to result in a situation which was at any rate analogous to an estoppel and . .
Cited – Ashingdane v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-May-1985
The right of access to the courts is not absolute but may be subject to limitations. These are permitted by implication since the right of access ‘by its very nature calls for regulation by the State, regulation which may vary in time and place . .
Cited – Stubbings v Webb and Another HL 10-Feb-1993
Sexual Assault is not an Act of Negligence
In claims for damages for child abuse at a children’s home made out of the six year time limit time were effectively time barred, with no discretion for the court to extend that limit. The damage occurred at the time when the child left the home. A . .
Cited – Jacqueline Adam v Rasal Ali CA 21-Feb-2006
The defendant sought damages against the defendant for personal injury from his alleged negligence. Her action was struck out and she recommenced the action. The defendant pleaded that she was out of time. The claimant said that the first action . .
Cited – Horton v Sadler and Another HL 14-Jun-2006
The claimant had been injured in a road traffic accident for which the defendant was responsible in negligence. The defendant was not insured, and so a claim was to be made against the MIB. The plaintiff issued proceedings just before the expiry of . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 April 2021; Ref: scu.184885