Wisniewski v Central Manchester Health Authority: CA 1997

The court considered the effect of a party failing to bring evidence in support of its case, as regards the court drawing inferences: ‘(1) In certain circumstances a court may be entitled to draw adverse inferences from the absence or silence of a witness who might be expected to have material evidence to give on an issue in an action. (2) If a court is willing to draw such inferences they may go to strengthen the evidence adduced on that issue by the other party or to weaken the evidence, if any, adduced by the party who might reasonably have been expected to call the witness. (3) There must, however, have been some evidence, however weak, adduced by the former on the matter in question before the court is entitled to draw the desired inference: in other words, there must be a case to answer on that issue. (4) If the reason for the witness’s absence or silence satisfies the court then no such adverse inference may be drawn. If, on the other hand, there is some credible explanation given, even if it is not wholly satisfactory, the potentially detrimental effect of his/her absence or silence may be reduced or nullified.’
Brooke LJ
[1997] PIQR 324, [1998] Lloyds Rep Med 223
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedChapman v Copeland 1966
. .
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
CitedMcQueen v Great Western Rly Co CA 1875
If a prima facie case is made out capable of being displaced, and if the party against whom it is established might by calling particular witnesses and producing particular evidence displace that prima facie case, and he omits to adduce that . .
CitedO’Donnell v Reichard 1975
. .
CitedHughes v Liverpool City Council CA 11-Mar-1988
. .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, Ex parte T C Coombs and Co HL 1991
The House heard an application judicially to review a notice served by an inspector of taxes under section 20 of the 1970 Act, requiring T C Coombs and Co to deliver or make available for inspection documents in their possession relevant to the tax . .

Cited by:
CitedBenham Limited v Kythira Investments Ltd and Another CA 15-Dec-2003
The appellant complained that the judge had accepted a case of no case to answer before the close of the claimant’s case and without putting them to their election. The claimant estate agents sought payment of their account. The defendants alleged a . .
CitedWeir and others v Secretary of State for Transport and Another ChD 14-Oct-2005
The claimants were shareholders in Railtrack. They complained that the respondent had abused his position to place the company into receivership so as to avoid paying them compensation on a repurchase of the shares. Mr Byers was accused of ‘targeted . .
CitedPrest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others SC 12-Jun-2013
In the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce, questions arose regarding company assets owned by the husband. The court was asked as to the power of the court to order the transfer of assets owned entirely in the company’s names. The . .
CitedUK Insurance Ltd v Gentry QBD 18-Jan-2018
Calim for damages by insurance company claiming that a claim by the defendant on which it had paid had in fact been fraudulent. The claim was made in deceit.
Held: ‘I have the required very high level of confidence that the Claimant’s . .
CitedAB (Preserved FTT Findings; Wisniewski Principles) Iraq UTIAC 11-Aug-2020
Preserving findings of fact
(1) Whether and, if so, when the Upper Tribunal should preserve findings of fact in a decision of the First-tier Tribunal that has been set aside has been considered by the Higher Courts in Sarkar v Secretary of . .
CitedScott v Bridge and Others ChD 25-Nov-2020
Claim to recover money and property said to have been transferred by the claimant to the defendants or one or more of them. The money concerned came from a bank account belonging to the claimant. The property concerned consisted of two . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.188866