The plaintiff sought damages for deafness following exposure to excessive noise during his employment with the first and second defendants some 20 to 35 years previously. He issued his writ six years after the date of knowledge under LA section 14 and therefore three years after expiry of the limitation period. The judge had declined to extend time under section 33, having regard to prejudice caused by the loss of evidence and records in the period before the plaintiff’s date of knowledge.
Held: The appeal failed. The Court of Appeal extended the principle stated by Lord Oliver in Donovan so as to cover a period of time before the plaintiff knew, or could have known, that he had a claim. It would not be right to characterise this as ‘dilatoriness’. ‘Passage of time’ would be a fairer description.
Brooke, Waller LJJ
 EWCA Civ 2983,  PIQR P407
Limitation Act 1980 33 811
England and Wales
Cited – Collins v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and Others CA 23-May-2014
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for personal injury which had been rejected on basis that it was out of time. He had contracted cancer in 2002, but had recovered. He later came to attribute this to exposure to asbestos at work . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 April 2021; Ref: scu.143382