Crawford Adjusters and Others v Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd and Another: PC 13 Jun 2013

(Cayman Islands) A hurricane had damaged property insured by the respondent company. The company employed the appellant as loss adjustor, but came to suspect advance payments recommended by him, and eventually claimed damages for deceit and conspiracy. The action was discontinued when evidence was provided to support the payments, and the first instance court supported allegations of abuse of process and malicious prosecution. An officer of the insurance company was alleged to have a strong personal animus toward the claimant. On appeal the insurers succeeded, the court saying that the tort of malicious prosecution was restricted to criminal proceedings.
Held: On those facts the judge was wrong to dismiss the claim for malicious prosecution. Though the insurers were not liable for abuse of process, the tort of malicious prosecution could apply to civil proceedings (Neuberger and Sumption LL dissenting).


Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption


[2013] UKPC 17, [2013] 4 All ER 8, [2013] WLR(D) 229, [2014] 1 AC 366, [2013] 3 WLR 927, [2013] 6 Costs LO 826


Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary




CitedGray v Dight 1677
C successfully sued D for having maliciously prosecuted him in the ecclesiastical court, as a result of which he had been excommunicated. ‘And resolved the action lies though nothing ensued but an excommunication, and no [arrest], nor any express . .
CitedBulwer And Smiths Case 1687
Knowing that C owed H andpound;20 under a judgment debt and that H had died, D unlawfully arrogated H’s name to himself and thereby maliciously caused C to be outlawed for non-payment of the debt, as a result of which he was imprisoned for two . .
CitedSavile v Roberts 1792
D had maliciously caused C to be indicted for riot. Following his acquittal C sued D for malicious prosecution. The court affirmed the judgment which had been given for C.
Held: It was irrelevant that D had not been part of a conspiracy. An . .
CitedSavile v Roberts 1795
Case for causing and maliciously procuring the plaintiff to be indicted for a riot. It was held by Holt, Chief Justice, it is not sufficient that the plaintiff prove he was innocent but he must prove express malice in the defendant; he likewise . .
CitedStevens v The Midland Counties Railway Company And Lander 22-Jun-1854
Quaere, whether an action for a malicious prosecution will lie against a corporation aggregate? Per Alderson, B., that it will not.
It has to be shown that the prosecutor’s motives is for a purpose other than bringing a person to justice. . .
CitedBerry v British Transport Commission QBD 1961
Although in civil cases extra costs incurred in excess of the sum allowed on taxation could not be recovered as damages, the Court was not compelled to extend that rule (based as it is on a somewhat dubious presumption) to criminal proceedings in . .
CitedGibbs and others v Rea PC 29-Jan-1998
(Cayman Islands) The respondent worked for a bank. He disclosed a business interest, but that interest grew in importance to the point where he resigned in circumstances amounting to constructive dismissal. His home and business officers were raided . .
CitedGregory v Portsmouth City Council HL 10-Feb-2000
Disciplinary proceedings had been taken by the local authority against Mr Gregory, a council member, after allegations had been made that he had failed to declare conflicts of interest, and that he had used confidential information to secure a . .
CitedGujra, Regina (on The Application of) v Crown Prosecution Service SC 14-Nov-2012
The appellant had twice begun private prosecutions only to have them taken over by the CPS and discontinued. He complained that a change in their policy on such interventions interfered with his statutory and constitutional right to bring such a . .
CitedGilding v Eyre And Another CCP 8-Jul-1861
After getting judgment against the plaintiff for a debt, and substantial repayment of it by him, the defendant issued a writ of execution for the full amount of the debt, in consequence of which the plaintiff was arrested by the sheriff’s officers. . .
CitedJohnson v Emerson 1871
Cleasby B recognised that the tort of malicious prosecution could be committed in the malicious presentation of a winding up petition. The effect of presentation of such a petition was immediately damaging to the company which was the subject of the . .
CitedQuartz Hill Consolidated Gold Mining Co v Eyre CA 26-Jun-1883
The court considered whether an action lay without proof of special damage for maliciously presenting a winding up petition.
Held: There was. Though there was no general cause of action for maliciously bringing civil proceedings without . .
CitedThe Walter D Wallet 1893
The vessel was arrested by a defendant who had been, but no longer was, a part owner of the vessel, having forgotten or forgotten the importance of that fact.
Held: Procuring the wrongful arrest of a ship can found a cause of action similar to . .
CitedClissold v Cratchley CA 1910
A solicitor had sued out a Writ of fi.fa on an order in favour of his client, unaware that the debt had been paid at the country office of the solicitor, prior to the writ being issued.
Held: An action in tort will be available for setting in . .
CitedRoy v Prior HL 1970
The court considered an alleged tort of maliciously procuring an arrest. The plaintiff had been arrested under a bench warrant issued as a result of evidence given by the defendant. He sued the defendant for damages for malicious arrest.
Held: . .
CitedMayor of Bradford v Pickles HL 29-Jul-1895
The plaintiffs sought an injunction to prevent the defendant interfering with the supply of water to the city. He would have done so entirely by actions on his own land.
Held: The plaintiffs could have no property in the water until it came on . .

Cited by:

CitedWilliamson v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 3-Sep-2014
(Trinidad and Tobago) The claimant had been held after arrest on suspicion of theft. He was held for several months before the case was dismissed, the posecution having made no apparent attempt to further the prosecution. He appealed against refusal . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
CitedCrawford v Jenkins CA 24-Jul-2014
The parties had divorced but acrimony continued. H now complained of his arrests after allegations from his former wife that he had breached two orders. He had been released and no charges followed. The court had ruled that W’s complaints were . .
Not FollowedWillers v Gubay ChD 15-May-2015
The court was asked whether the tort of malicious prosecution of civil proceedings is known to English law.
Held: The Crawfod Adjusters case should not be followed: ‘If I am not bound by Gregory, then I see no reason for departing from the . .
CitedWillers v Joyce and Another (Re: Gubay (Deceased) No 1) SC 20-Jul-2016
Parties had been involved in an action for wrongful trading. This was not persisted with but the claimant sought damages saying that the action was only part of a campaign to do him harm. This appeal raised the question whether the tort of malicious . .
CitedWillers v Joyce and Another (Re: Gubay (Deceased) No 2) SC 20-Jul-2016
The Court was asked whether and in what circumstances a lower court may follow a decision of the Privy Council which has reached a different conclusion from that of the House of Lords (or the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal) on an earlier occasion. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other

Updated: 02 June 2022; Ref: scu.510849