David T Morrison and Co Ltd (T/A Gael Home Interiors) v ICL Plastics Ltd and Others: SC 30 Jul 2014

The claimant sought damages after an explosion at the defender’s nearby premises damaged its shop. The defender said that the claim was out of time, and now appealed against a decision that time had not begun to run under the 1973 Act.
Held: (Lord Hodge and Lord Toulson dissenting) The appeal was allowed. The natural meaning of the words ’caused as aforesaid’ in section 11(3) was adjectival: they described the loss with which the provision was concerned, but did not have the effect of postponing the running of time until the creditor was aware that the loss had been caused by a breach of duty. Properly construed, section 11(3) was concerned with latent damage. Construing it subjectively, as was in practice being suggested, would be anomalous. For the prescriptive period to begin under section 11(3) of the 1973 Act, the creditor needed to be aware (actually or constructively, if the creditor could with reasonable diligence have been aware) only of the occurrence of the loss or damage and not of its cause.

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson , Lord Hodge
[2014] UKSC 48, 2014 GWD 25-5, 2014 SLT 791, UKSC 2013/0104
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 6(1) 11(3), Public Authorities Protection Act 1893, Law Reform (Limitation of Actions) Act 1954
See AlsoICL Plastics Ltd and Others, Re Application for Judicial Review SCS 11-Mar-2005
The applicants were concerned at the decision to exclude them from their premises to investigate the cause of an explosion leading to the collapse of the factory. . .
At Outer HouseDavid T Morrison and Co Ltd v ICL Plastics Ltd and Others SCS 9-Mar-2012
Outer House – Opinion – In May 2004 an explosion at the defenders factory caused nine deaths. A pipeline carrying LPG gas had not been assessed for risks. Morrison owned neighbouring premises which were damaged. They began an action for damages. The . .
CitedGlasper v Rodger SCS 1996
First Division – Inner House – Lord President Hope said: ‘In our opinion the lack of awareness which requires to be established for the purposes of section 11(3) of the 1973 Act is a lack of awareness that a loss has occurred caused by an act, . .
CitedWatson v Fram Reinforced Concrete Co (Scotland) Ltd HL 1960
A workman had been injured through the breaking of a defective part in the machine with which he was working. He brought an action of damages against his employers, and later convened as second defenders the manufacturers of the machine, who had . .
CitedDunlop v McGowans HL 6-Mar-1980
The landlord of a block of flats needed vacant possession to pursue redevelopment. The respondent solicitors failed to give the necessary notice in good time, delaying the development by a year. The landlord appellant delayed five years before . .
CitedGreater Glasgow Health Board v Baxter Clark and Paul SCS 1990
Outer House Court of Session – Lord Clyde held (obiter) that the ordinary and natural meaning of the phrase ’caused as aforesaid’ included the distinct ingredient of causation by negligence: ‘The question is one of the interpretation of section . .
CitedKirk Care Housing Association Ltd v Crerar and Partners SCS 1996
Outer House – Lord Clyde reiterated his view, rejecting a challenge by counsel for the defenders, that section 11(3) was concerned only with awareness of loss, a matter of fact, and not with matters of legal liability. . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedAMN Group Ltd v Gilcomston North Ltd and others SCS 20-Jun-2008
Outer House – The phrase ‘aware . . that loss, injury or damage caused as aforesaid had occurred’ as meaning ‘aware . . that a stateable prima facie claim . . could properly be advanced against someone’ the resolution of that issue will ultimately . .
CitedPelagic Freezing Ltd v Lovie Construction SCS 28-Oct-2010
Outer House . .
CitedGhani v Peter T McCann and Co 2002
. .
CitedHenderson v Henderson 20-Jul-1843
Abuse of Process and Re-litigation
The court set down the principles to be applied in abuse of process cases, where a matter was raised again which should have been dealt with in earlier proceedings.
Sir James Wigram VC said: ‘In trying this question I believe I state the rule . .

Cited by:
CitedGordon and Others v Campbell Riddell Breeze Paterson Llp SCS 8-Mar-2016
(Extra Division, Inner House) The claimant trustees appealed from rejection of their claims of professional negligence against the defendant solicitors as out of time. The parties disputed whether the limitation period ran from the service of . .
CitedGordon and Others (Trustees of The Inter Vivos Trust) v Campbell Riddell Breeze Paterson Llp SC 15-Nov-2017
The claimants appealed from rejection of their claims for losses saying that such losses had been caused by their solicitors in failing properly to identify the tenant and the relevant lease when issuing notices to quit. The solicitors argued that . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Limitation

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.535437