Summary of Recent Cases – Civil Procedure

Three individuals involved in bringing a false personal injury claim imprisoned for contempt

Havering London Borough Council v (1) Mark Bowyer (2) James Jones (3) Richard Bowyer [2012] EWHC 2237 (Admin) 27/07/12

It was necessary to distinguish between those that had played a principal role in the scheme and those who had supported it. Whilst Mark Bowyer had described himself as the prime mover, and it was accepted by the court that the initial decision was his, he had not continued with the scheme without relying on the advice of Richard Bowyer, who was older, more experienced and had a stronger personality. Richard Bowyer was the true driving force behind the continuing deceit and his attempt to exculpate himself in contesting the instant proceedings was amateurish. Sentences of two months’ and one month’s imprisonment respectively were imposed on Mark Bowyer and James Jones. As he had contested the contempt proceedings, Richard Bowyer received a sentence of four months’ imprisonment.

Guidance as to the factors to take account when determining whether to interfere with a lower court’s refusal to adjourn a trial
Popinder Kaur Dhillon (By her Litigation Friend) v Yaw Asiedu [2012] EWCA Civ 1020, 26/07/12
It was clear from the authorities that the overriding objective required cases to be dealt with justly whilst CPR r1.1(2)(d) required the court to deal with cases “expeditiously and fairly”. Fairness could only be determined by taking all relevant matters into account, and also by excluding irrelevant matters. It was only where the decision of the first instance judge was plainly wrong that the Court of Appeal would interfere. Unless the appeal court could identify that the judge had taken into account immaterial factors, omitted to take into account relevant factors, erred in principle or come to a decision that was impermissible, the decision at first instance had to prevail. It was held that the trial judge was fully entitled to reach the conclusion that the late arrival of the evidence of incapacity was not a sufficient factor to merit an adjournment.

The Companies Act 2006 s.1032(1) operated to retrospectively validated an action purportedly commenced by, or against, a company during the period of its dissolution
Peaktone Ltd v Joddrell [2012] EWCA Civ 1035, 26/07/12
The effect of s.1032(1) was retrospectively to validate an action purportedly commenced by, or against, a company during the period of its dissolution. In enacting the 2006 Act, Parliament had assimilated into a single procedure the two previously existing routes to the judicial restoration of a dissolved or struck-off company, and it had applied to the new procedure the principle to be found in s.1032(1) of the 2006 Act. Further, the effect of s.1032(1) was to also retrospectively validate service.

General Damages to increase by 10% for awards made after 01.04.13

Simmon v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1039, 26/07/12

The endorsement of a settlement in a personal injury action between the appellant motorcyclist and the respondent car driver provided the Court of Appeal with an opportunity to declare an increase of 10 per cent in general damages in most tort actions with effect from April 1, 2013. Consistency of approach in the assessment of damages was important because it was a fundamental aspect of justice, and because it assisted settlement. The court had the power and a continuous responsibility to monitor and set the guideline rates for general damages in tort claims, including personal injury actions. Although guidelines as to the quantum of conventional damages were neither rules of law, nor practice rules, they were addressed to first instance judges, and it was highly desirable that parties to litigation and their advisers had confidence that trial judges would apply them.

September 1, 2012 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases