Negligence Duty to take care. The claimant and the first defendant were engaged in a joint enterprise of stealing a set of ladders. During their getaway from the scene, the claimant fell from the van being driven by the first defendant and sustained serious injuries. The claimant brought a claim in negligence against the first defendant and second defendant insurer. The judge dismissed the claim and the claimant appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal as the judge had plainly been entitled to conclude that, although the damage might not have occurred but for the negligent driving of the first defendant, it had been caused by the criminal activity in which the claimant had been engaged.
Practice Pre-trial or post judgment relief. The claimant Serious Organised Crime Agency obtained a property freezing order (PFO) in respect of the defendants' property worldwide and subsequently obtained a civil recovery order (CRO). The defendants unsuccessfully applied for permission to appeal the CRO. Subsequently, judgment was given in Serious Organised Crime Agency v Perry[ which changed the understanding of the scope of s316(4) of the . The defendants applied to vary the PFO to exclude overseas property from its scope. The judge, inter alia, granted the variation sought. SOCA appealed and the defendants applied, inter alia, to re-open the refusal of permission to appeal the CRO. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed SOCA's appeal and dismissed the defendants' application to re-open the refusal of permission to appeal the CRO.
Pleading Amendment. The claimant company ran a vehicle recovery business, performing work for the defendant police authority. In 2008, following the discovery of misconduct on the part of the claimant, the police terminated its contract with the claimant and excluded the claimant from a tender that was, at the material time, in progress. The claimant commenced proceedings. Following disclosure, the claimant sought to substantially amend its particulars of claim to include allegations of, inter alia, bad faith and bias. The application was refused as the amendment amounted to a new claim outside of the relevant limitation period and the claimant appealed. The appeal was dismissed and the judge declined to allow the claimant to introduce the new facts by an amendment to its reply. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal as the proposed amendments amounted to a new claim, but indicated that the claimant should be able to include limited new facts in an amended reply.
Shipping Charterparty. The Commercial Court granted the claimant permission to serve out of the jurisdiction on the defendants and granted an anti-arbitration injunction against the second defendant, in circumstances where the parties were involved in dispute over the chartering of a vessel and arbitration had been commenced in both England and Singapore.
Negligence Causation. When a fire broke out at the claimant's plant, it blamed the defendant who had had employees working at the plant engaged in the use of an oxy-propane cutting torch. The claim was dismissed, with the judge finding that there had been no breach of duty on the part of the defendant. The defendant's insurer, who was joined as a Pt20 defendant to the claim, was awarded 50% of its costs. The claimant and insurer appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal, finding that there was no basis on which to interfere with the judge's conclusions. The insurer's appeal was allowed as the judge had not identified any matter in its conduct of the proceedings that had justified depriving it of any part of its costs.
Patent Infringement. The Patents County Court held that two medical patents were invalid (see ). It gave permission to the defendant company, Novartis, to appeal. Novartis applied to the court, seeking an injunction to prevent the claimant company, Hospira, selling its own generic product. In dismissing the application, the court held that there was a real risk of loss to Hospira if the injunction was granted.
Practice Summary judgment. The Commercial Court considered applications by the claimant and defendant companies in a dispute over the distribution of the film 'West is West'. Both parties applied for summary judgment. The court held that the changing nature of the claimant's claim meant that it would not be satisfactory for the issues to be determined by way of summary judgment. It further held that, given that the defendant accepted that the claimant had a case with a real prospect of success, the case was not appropriate for summary judgment for the defendant. Both applications would therefore be dismissed.
Health and safety at work Employer's duties. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the defendant Chief Constable's appeals on liability and costs in respect of a claim brought by a police officer who had been injured at work. The officer had been clearing a cannabis factory when she had cut her thumb attempting to open a window. The court held, inter alia, that the court below had not erred in concluding that the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 had been engaged and found that there had been a duty to provide thick gloves to protect against a risk which had been more than de minimis.
Arbitration Adjudication. The defendant was the main contractor under a contract with London Underground Limited in respect of the refurbishment of Hammersmith Underground Station. The Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court allowed the claimant's application for summary judgment and held that, in the circumstances, the defendant had no real prospects of successfully defending the enforcement of the adjudicator's decision.
Medical practitioner Negligence. The claimant had been unwell as a baby and had been seen by the defendant general practitioner. She diagnosed colic. Two days later, the claimant was admitted to hospital with acute bacterial meningitis. Consequently, he developed mental and physical disabilities. The claimant alleged medical negligence on the part of the defendant, alleging that if she had referred him to hospital earlier, he would have received the appropriate treatment which would have prevented the meningitis from developing. His claim was dismissed, the judge finding that the defendant had not been negligent. That conclusion was based on witness and documentary evidence, which had led the judge to conclude that the claimant's mother's evidence had been unsatisfactory. The claimant appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal, holding that the judge had not erred in his approach or in the conclusion that he had reached.