Horne-Roberts (a Child) v Smithkline Beecham plc and Another: CA 18 Dec 2001

The court has a power to order substitution of a party though the limitation period, and even the ‘long stop’ limitation period had expired. The claimant child sought damages after a vaccination. The batch had been attributed to the wrong manufacturer, and the error only came to light outside the limitation period. It was said that the Product Liability directive did not operate as a limitation period but extinguished the right of action, and so was not covered by rule 19.5.
Held: The distinction did not have the value claimed, and the order substituting the respondent was appropriate. The intention had been to sue a person satisfying a particular description, namely the manufacturer of the batch.


Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, President, Lady Justice Hale and Lord Justice Keene


Times 10-Jan-2002, Gazette 21-Feb-2002, [2001] EWCA Civ 2006, [2002] 1 WLR 1662




Limitation Act 1980 11A(3), Consumer Protection Act 1987, Civil Procedure Rules 19.5, Product Liability Directive (85/374/EEC)


England and Wales


AppliedEvans Construction Co Ltd v Charrington and Co Ltd CA 1983
The tenant sought a new lease and served a notice. The notice named the former landlord not the current landlord.
Held: Order 20 could be used to correct the name where the error was a mere mistaken description of the correct party, but not a . .
CitedThe Sardinia Sulcis CA 1991
The power to change a party after the expiry of a limitation period can be exercised where a party has been wrongly identified, but ‘it was possible to identify the intending claimant or intended defendant by reference to a description which was . .

Cited by:

CitedParsons and Another v George and Another CA 13-Jul-2004
The claimant sought to begin proceedings to renew his business tenancy, but the proceedings were issued in the wrong name. He sought to amend the proceedings to substitute the correct defendant, but that application was out of time.
Held: . .
CitedAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 9-Jul-2007
The claimant sought to add the name of a further claimant. The defendant objected, saying that it was after the expiry of the limitation period.
Held: The claimant was seeking to use the rules for substitution of parties to add a party. In . .
See AlsoOB v Aventis Pasteur SA HL 11-Jun-2008
The claimant had been vaccinated with a HIB vaccine. He was severely injured and it was said that the vaccine was the cause, and a claim made under the 1987 Act. Originally the claim was made against a UK company, but it should have been against . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.167352