Hartley v Birmingham City District Council: CA 1992

The writ was issued one day late; there had been early notification of the claim; and the defendant’s ability to defend the case was unaffected. The plaintiff asked the court to exercide its discretion to allow the claim t proceed.
Held: The question under s33(1) is ‘would it be fair and just to allow the action to proceed’. The prejudice to the claimant by the operation of the limitation provision and the prejudice to the defendant if it is disapplied tend to be equal and opposite. The effect of the delay on the defendant’s ability to defend is of paramount importance.
Parker LJ noted that limitation was a fortuitous and technical defence to a claim which in justice the defendants ought to meet; and that what is of paramount importance is the effect of the delay on the defendants’ ability to defend.


Parker LJ, Leggatt LJ


[1992] 2 All ER 213, [1992] 1 WLR 968


Limitation Act 1980 33(1)


England and Wales


CitedWalkley 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 by:

CitedRoberts vWinbow (3) CA 4-Dec-1998
The plaintiff was treated for depression by the defendant by prescription of drugs. She sufferred a reaction, but now claimed that the doctor’s slow reaction caused her to suffer lasting injury. The question on appeal was, if a plaintiff suffers . .
CitedHorton 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 . .
CitedSmith v Leicestershire Health Authority CA 29-Jan-1998
The plaintiff appealed a finding that she had sufficient knowledge of her possible claim for medical negligence against the defendants, and that she was out of time. She had known of her condition, but said she had no sufficient reason to see that . .
CitedAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 19-Dec-2007
Applications were launched with in defamation proceedings to seek to recover damages for parties who had not previously been part of the proceedings.
Held: The amendments were refused. The new claimants were now out of time, and it was clear . .
CitedKamar v Nightingale and Another QBD 14-Dec-2007
The claimant sought damages from his barrister saying that he should have introduced evidence of his good character during the trial. The defendant appealed against the order permitting extension of the limitation period.
Held: The court had . .
CitedSteedman, Clohosy, Smith, Kiernan, Newman, Creevy, Anderson v The British Broadcasting Corporation CA 23-Oct-2001
The claimants had issued defamation proceedings. The defendant said they were out of time, having begun the action more than one year after the alleged publication, but accepted that they had not been prejudiced in their defence. The court refused . .
CitedBrady v Norman CA 9-Feb-2011
The claimant sought to have disapplied the limitation period in his defamation claim. The claimant said that in the case of Cain, the Steedman case had not been cited, and that the decisions were incompatible, and that Cain was to be prefered.
CitedCain v Francis CA 18-Dec-2008
The court was asked under what circumstances it should exercise its discretion to extend the limitation period under section 33.
Held: Lady Justice Smith said: ‘It appears to me that there is now a long line of authority to support the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.186440