Murphy v Stone-Wallwork (Charlton) Ltd: HL 1969

It had been assumed at the trial and in the Court of Appeal that the defendants would continue to employ the plaintiff and the assessment of future loss had been based upon that assumption. Shortly after the decision of the case by the Court of Appeal, the defendants dismissed the plaintiff.
Held: The damages were increased to allow for the increased future loss resulting from the defendants’ action. The course taken by the defendants since the accident, and the conduct of the trial on both sides, rendered it inequitable that, even though there was no bad faith, the deliberate conduct of the defendants in falsifying the belief that the appellant would not be dismissed should be allowed to yield to them a profit. It is only in ‘exceptional’ cases that leave to adduce further evidence should be granted after the time for appealing has expired. It should be admitted only where refusal to admit it would plainly cause serious injustice. The power to admit fresh evidence which showed that damages had been assessed on a false basis should be exercised very sparingly in view of the importance of the principle of finality in litigation
Lord Upjohn said: ‘So here your Lordships are confronted with a conflict of two principles of law. First, it is a very funda mental and important principle of law established in the public interest that there should be an end to litigation between parties . .’


Lord Pearce, Lord Upjohn


[1969] 1 WLR 1023


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGolden Strait Corporation v Nippon Yusen Kubishka Kaisha (‘The Golden Victory’) HL 28-Mar-2007
The claimant sought damages for repudiation of a charterparty. The charterpary had been intended to continue until 2005. The charterer repudiated the contract and that repudiation was accepted, but before the arbitrator could set his award, the Iraq . .
CitedRe L and B (Children) SC 20-Feb-2013
The court was asked as to the extent to which a court, having once declared its decision, could later change its mind. Though this case arose with in care proceedings, the court asked it as a general question. The judge in a fact finding hearing in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Personal Injury

Updated: 01 February 2022; Ref: scu.252489