||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 283 (Jul)
|| EWHC 1721 (TCC)
||Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court
||Thomas Graham (instructed by BP Collins Solicitors) for the claimant.
||The defendant did not appear and was not represented.
||9 July 2008
Damages - Assessment of damages - Proper approach - Unopposed assessment of damages - Quantum.
Damages Assessment of damages. The burden of proof in the assessment of damages remained on the party seeking to establish its entitlement to damages. Where the assessment was opposed, it was open to the defending party to take any proper points on the recoverability of the damages claimed, to cross-examine as to the substance of the damages claimed and to deploy its own evidence, subject to complying with court orders, as to the service of witness statements and expert reports. The court was not simply a rubber stamp in assessments of damages, even where the assessment was unopposed. The court was not bound to accept the evidence and argument of one party in those circumstances. Whilst the court would not descend into the arena in any event whether the assessment was opposed or unopposed, where the assessment was unopposed, the court might review critically the evidence and arguments advanced by the party seeking damages. The court would have in mind the overriding objective in cases of unopposed assessments of damages with a view to minimising the costs of the assessment. That reflects the fact that in such cases, the defendant often had financial problems. The court assessed the claimant's damages in respect of lost profits and the diminution of value in its aircraft which had been put beyond economic repair by breaches of contract on the part of the defendant.
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