The claimants sought damages after the birth of their child with a severe hereditary disease which they said the defendant hospital had failed to diagnose after testing for that disease. The hospital sought a contribution from the company CSL who had carried out the test. The third party said that the claim was out of time.
Held: A duty of care existed from CSL to the claimants. The claimants should have been aware of the involvement of the third parties from the day of the service of the defence, and time ran from that date. The claim was therefore out of time unless the court exrecised its discretion under section 33. In this case the claimant was not misled or mistaken. However the proposed defendant was not significantly affected by any delay. The court exercised its discretion to disapply the limitation period.
Swift J DBE
 EWHC 1228 (QB)
Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 1(1), Limitation Act 1980 14(1)
England and Wales
Cited – Hedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
Cited – Smith v Eric S Bush, a firm etc HL 20-Apr-1989
In Smith, the lender instructed a valuer who knew that the buyer and mortgagee were likely to rely on his valuation alone. The valuer said his terms excluded responsibility. The mortgagor had paid an inspection fee to the building society and . .
Cited – Rees v Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust HL 16-Oct-2003
The claimant was disabled, and sought sterilisation because she feared the additional difficulties she would face as a mother. The sterilisation failed. She sought damages.
Held: The House having considered the issue in MacFarlane only . .
Cited – Groom v Selby CA 18-Oct-2001
The defendant negligently failed to discover the claimant’s pregnancy. A severely disabled child was born. The question was as to the responsibility for payment of excess costs of raising a severely disabled child, a claim for economic loss. The . .
Cited – Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
Cited – Parkinson v St James and Seacroft University Hospital NHS Trust CA 11-Apr-2001
A mother had undergone a negligent sterilisation, and in due course she gave birth to a disabled child.
Held: The right to bodily integrity is the first and most important of the interests protected by the law of tort. The cases saying that . .
Cited – MacFarlane and Another v Tayside Health Board HL 21-Oct-1999
Child born after vasectomy – Damages Limited
Despite a vasectomy, Mr MacFarlane fathered a child, and he and his wife sought damages for the cost of care and otherwise of the child. He appealed a rejection of his claim.
Held: The doctor undertakes a duty of care in regard to the . .
Cited – Whitfield v North Durham Health Authority CA 1995
In 1987, and before the claim was issued in 1992 the claimant had issued a claim which had never been served. She sought to extend the limitation period arguing that she had not acquired the requisite knowledge until later,
Held: She had had . .
Cited – Spargo v North Essex District Health Authority CA 13-Mar-1997
The test of ‘When a plaintiff became aware of the cause of an injury’ is a subjective test of what passed through plaintiff’s mind. ‘(1) the knowledge required to satisfy s14(1)(b) is a broad knowledge of the essence of the causally relevant act or . .
Cited – Spargo v North Essex District Health Authority QBD 1996
A plaintiff’s knowledge that her injury could be attributed to hypoxia, is not knowledge that the injury is attributable to the act or omission alleged to constitute negligence as might be pleaded in a statement of claim and no ordinary plaintiff . .
Cited – White and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .
Cited – Walkin v South Manchester Health Authority CA 3-Jul-1995
A claim for damages for an unwanted pregnancy occurring after a failed sterilisation. The plaintiff claimed damages for her economic losses. She issued only four years after the birth.
Held: The limitation period ran from the date of . .
Cited – Haward and others v Fawcetts HL 1-Mar-2006
The claimant sought damages from his accountants, claiming negligence. The accountants pleaded limitation. They had advised him in connection with an investment in a company which investment went wrong.
Held: It was argued that the limitation . .
Cited – Simpson v Norwest Holst Southern Ltd CA 1980
The court considered the effect on limitation of a person taking steps to disguise the identity of a potential defendant.
Held: Where the employer’s identity had been ‘hidden’ under mere reference to a corporate group, the date of knowledge . .
Cited – Cressey v E Timm and Son Ltd and E Timm and Son Holding Ltd CA 24-Jun-2005
The claimant sought to counter a defence that his claim was out of time, saying that he had been misinformed as to the name of his employer.
Held: A person could not sue simply ‘his employer’. He must find a name, particularly as against a . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 February 2021; Ref: scu.242312