Knight v Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust, the National Health Service Litigation Authority, The Secretary of State for Health: QBD 23 Jul 2003

A contribution to a damages award was sought. The two year period under section 10 had expired between the anniversary of the date on which an agreement to settle the victim’s claim had been made and the anniversary of the consent order which had given effect to the agreement. The court had to decide whether the period for limitation purposes was fixed by subsection 10(3) or 10(4).
Held: A consent order amounted to a ‘judgment’. Subsection 10(4) applied and the contribution claim was time barred: ‘My principal reason for doing so is if a firm agreement is made, as here, time undoubtedly starts to run at that moment. It would be different if the agreement required the making of a consent order before it took effect. Neither party so contends here. Although Parliament could have decided that a consent order should restart the clock, there are insufficiently clear words to indicate that. Indeed the words in subsection (1) ‘Where . . any person becomes entitled’ and the words in subsection (4) ‘the earliest date on which the amount . . is agreed’ suggest that the crucial moment is the first moment when liability arises. It is tidy to conclude that subsections (3) and (4) deal separately with cases decided by a court (or arbitrator) and cases of agreement.’
Mr Justice Crane
[2003] EWHC 1831 (QB), [2004] 1 WLR 371
Limitation Act 1980 10(3) 10(4)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAer Lingus v Gildacroft Ltd and Another CA 17-Jan-2006
The claimant had been found liable to pay damages for personal injury, and now sought contribution from the defendants. The defendants said that they were out of time since the contribution action had been commenced more than 2 years after the . .

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Updated: 12 April 2021; Ref: scu.184876