Williams v Mersey Docks and Harbour Board: CA 1905

The deceased suffered an injury in December 1902 which would have entitled him to institute proceedings against the harbour board within the special statutory period of six months pursuant to the 1893 Act. No such action was brought by the deceased, so that this action was statute-barred. Following his death in December 1904, his widow instituted proceedings under the 1846 Act in February 1905 to recover damages arising out of the death of her husband.
Held: The action could not be maintained. The right of action of the deceased, if he were still alive would have been barred by the provisions of the Act of 1893 which fixed a six-month time limit from the happening of the event.
Mathew L.J. stated: ‘The cases appear to establish the general principle that, where an action could not have been brought by the deceased person, it cannot be maintained in. respect of the same accident by his representative. In this case the deceased could not have maintained an action against the defendants at the time of his death, or at any time more than six months after the neglect which was said to have caused the injury to him.’

Mathew LJ
[1905] 1 KB 805
Fatal Accidents Act 1846, Public Authorities Protection Act 1893
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedPickett v British Rail Engineering HL 2-Nov-1978
Lost Earnings claim Continues after Death
The claimant, suffering from mesothelioma, had claimed against his employers and won, but his claim for loss of earnings consequent upon his anticipated premature death was not allowed. He began an appeal, but then died. His personal representatives . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Limitation

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.654043