Summary of Recent Cases – Civil Procedure

A Master Was Entitled To Have Allowed Claimants to Amend Their Particulars Of Claim

Mario Alberto Tabra Guerrero & 30 Ors v Monterrico Metals PLC: Menandro Neyra Caucha & Anor v Monterrico Metals Plc & Anor, QBD, 15/12/10

HHJ Tugendhat held that a Master had been entitled to allow Claimants in an action for false imprisonment and trespass to the persons to have amended their Particulars of Claim as he came to the case with detailed knowledge of it. There was little force in the argument from the Defendants that the Master failed to distinguish events pre-dating the index events from those post-dating it or that the amendments would increase the scope of disclosure, witness statements and costs. However under CPR 3.1(2) the court could exclude any issue from consideration or take any other steps or make any other order for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective. It was no longer the role of the court to simply provide a level playing field and to adjudicate upon whatever issues the parties choose to raise before it.

A Late Application to Amend Should Be Allowed

(1) Claire Swain Mason, David Jonathan Berry & Neil Gordon Kirby (Executors of CJ Swain Deceased) (2) Claire Swain Mason (3) Abby Swain (4) Gemma Swain (5) Christa Swain v Mills & Reeve (A Firm), Ch, 06/12/10

In a claim for professional negligence, the court permitted a late amendment of Particulars of Claim to add a differently pleaded case at the start of trial and an adjournment after it became apparent to the judge that the case that the Claimants were adducing was different to that set out in their Particulars. It was held that despite these amendments the Defendants knew the case against them and could plead to it. It was rejected that the amendments were an abuse of process on the grounds a very similar amendment had previously been withdrawn as there had been no adjudication on this issue. Though late, the delay that would be caused by the amendment was not substantial. No principle of prejudice or estoppel arose; though a delay would cause marginally increased stress to the parties and it was true the Defendants faced a new case, the trial would not be substantially lengthened as it primarily involved looking at expert evidence and legal issues. It was important that all parties had the fullest opportunity to present their case and that the trial did not proceed on a false and artificial premise created by a refusal to amend.

January 25, 2011 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases