Occupier's liability Duty of care. The Queen's Bench Division dismissed the claimant's claim for personal injury suffered when a ramp from a horse box fell on him whilst parked at horse show grounds owned and operated by the first defendant with the second defendant operating as an independent contractor. The court found that although the defendants had owed the claimant a duty of care at common law and under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 on the facts the horse box had not been causing an obstruction and therefore the claim had to fail.
Costs Order for costs. The Queen's Bench Division ruled on liability for costs, pursuant to CPR36.13(5), following the claimant's acceptance in February 2016 of the defendant NHS trust's CPR Pt36 offer, which offer had, in fact, expired in June 2015, it having been made earlier that month.
Practice Offer to settle. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed an appeal against a costs order as the claimant had beaten the defendants' offer under CPR Pt36. That had not been changed by the defendants' payment on account pursuant to their partial admission of liability. The claimant's cross-appeal, that costs should have been awarded on the indemnity basis and not the standard basis, was allowed based on the terms of the contract between the parties.
Pleading Amendment. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the Unitech parties' appeal against the refusal to allow amendments to their pleadings in relation to five intended defences and allowed the lenders' cross-appeal against the refusal to order a payment into court or an interim payment. In respect of the latter, it was appropriate in the circumstances to make an order in line with the lenders' preference for a requirement for a payment into court.
Vicarious liability Crown. The Supreme Court, in dismissing the appellant's appeal, held that the respondent had been injured as a result of negligence by a prisoner in carrying on the activities assigned to him, and the prison service was, therefore, vicariously liable to her. The court considered what sort of relationship had to exist between an individual and a defendant before the defendant could be made vicariously liable in tort for the conduct of the individual, with particular regard to Various claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society ().
Tribunal Upper Tribunal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appellant's appeal and restoring the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) debarring the respondent Revenue and Customs Commissioners from further participation in the proceedings, considered the proper approach of tax tribunals in cases where there had been a breach of an order.
Costs Order for costs. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, ruled on a point of construction which arose from the apparent tension between the rules fixing costs in most lower value personal injury cases, found in sIIIA of CPR Pt45, and the provisions in CPR Pt36 which specifically applied to such claims. It held that the tension between CPR45.29B and CPR36.14A had to be resolved in favour of CPR36.14A.
Negligence Causation. The Queen's Bench Division dismissed the claimant's case in negligence against the orthopaedic surgeon employed by the defendant NHS Trust as on the evidence, the claimant's grounds for establishing breach of duty and therefore liability had not been made out.
Connor (A protected party by his wife and Litigation Friend, Rebecca Connor) v Castle Cement and others
Personal injuries Action. In the course of proceedings against the defendants for an injury in the course of employment, the Queen's Bench Division determined that the claimant had proved that he had suffered from an actionable psychiatric injury, namely, hysterical pseudodementia.
Insurance Compulsory insurance of motor vehicles. The Mercantile Court ruled that the claimant insurer of the first defendant's car, which had caught fire at his place of employment while being repaired, causing damage to the employer's premises and the adjoining premises, was entitled to a declaration that the first defendant's car insurance policy, did not cover a claim (the claim) by the employer's insurer against the first defendant for an indemnity in respect of the sums it had paid out as a result of damage caused by the fire. It was not a 'normal function' of a car to undergo repair. The repair that had been undertaken to the car did not amount to 'using' the car, within the meaning of the car insurance policy. Accordingly, the policy did not respond to the claim.