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Court of Appeal case on Limitation

In Richards v McKeown and Another  [2017] EWCA Civ 2374 the Claimant appealed against the County Court’s summary dismissal of her claim on the grounds that it included a personal injury claim which was time barred. The High Court rejected her appeal and the Claimant appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal held that the Judge had been wrong to dismiss the Claimant’s claim for three reasons:

  1. The Court was not dealing with an application to dismiss the action on the grounds of limitation. The Defendant’s application related to disallowing amendments which added the personal injury claim and it was inappropriate to expand the scope of the application;
  2. The dismissal on limitation grounds was premature. In the High Court, Holroyde J had held that the Claimant could not rely on section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980 (the Court’s discretionary power to allow personal injury claims to proceed outside the limitation period) in the absence of a formal application to do so but this was wrong. The Claimant only needed to raise section 33 in her Reply should the Defendant raise limitation in its Defence to her amended claim;
  3. In any event, the personal injury elements of the claim could be severed from the other elements of the claim and, consequently, even if the personal injury elements could not proceed on the grounds of limitation, the remainder of the claim should have been allowed to proceed.

The appeal was therefore allowed and the matter was remitted back to the County Court.

Julian Gun Cunninghame successfully represented the Claimant in the Court of Appeal. The Claimant had acted in person in the County Court and High Court.

The Judgment can be read in full here: Richards v McKeown