The claimant sued various of those who had represented him in a claim against the Ministry of Defence. He believed that he had had to accept an inadequate sum in settlement after being at risk of losing the claim for non-prosecution. The defendant solicitors sought contribution from the solicitors who had taken over the case and from counsel.
Held: The question was: ‘when did the loss of the right to proceed further with the action occur?’ It was wrong to say on behalf of the second and subsequent lawyers that the action had already been lost by the time they assumed responsibility. All three defendants may have contributed to the loss. There had been only one loss and: ‘one damage; that is, the loss of the chance to pursue the action successfully to trial; and that that loss was occasioned by the combined effect of the torts of Kingsley Smith and of Wansbroughs and Miss Addy.’
 EWHC 1559 (QB),  Lloyd’s Rep PN 29
Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 1(1)
Cited – Rahman v Arearose Limited and Another, University College London, NHS Trust CA 15-Jun-2000
The claimant had suffered a vicious physical assault from which the claimant’s employers should have protected him, and an incompetently performed surgical operation. Three psychiatrists agreed that the aetiology of the claimant’s very severe . .
Cited – Royal Brompton Hospital National Health Service Trust v Hammond and others HL 25-Apr-2002
The claimants sought damages against the defendants for their late delivery of a building. The contractors sought to share the damages with the architects who had certified the delays, defeating their own claims.
Held: The Act sought to extend . .
Cited – Birkett v James HL 1977
Exercise of Power to Strike Out
The court has an inherent power to strike out an action for want of prosecution, and the House set down the conditions for its exercise. The power is discretionary and exercisable only where (a) there has been inordinate and inexcusable delay and . .
Cited – Webb v Barclays Bank Plc and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust CA 16-Jul-2001
The claimant had suffered polio almost all her life. She fell, and was recommended to wear a calliper. She refused. Ultimately, an amputation was advised and in due course her leg was amputated above the knee by surgical operation. She commenced . .
Cited – Hatton v Messrs Chafes (A Firm) CA 13-Mar-2003
The defendant firm appealed against a refusal to strike out the claimant’s claim for professional negligence, asserting that the judge should have considered the limitation issue in the light of Khan v Falvey.
Held: By the time that the . .
Cited – Khan v R M Falvey and Co (a Firm) CA 22-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from his former solicitors for failing to act to avoid his case being struck out. The second action was itself delayed, and the defendants asserted that the cause of action occurred not when his claim was actually struck . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 February 2021; Ref: scu.347394