Case Report

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust v De Meza [2017] EWCA Civ 1711

Date: 16/11/2017

Anna Hughes successful in Court of Appeal in Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust v De Meza [2017] EWCA Civ 1711.

Anna Hughes successfully represented the Appellant, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, in its appeal against a decision to extend the limitation period under s 33 Limitation Act 1980. The Respondent brought a Claim for damages against the Appellant and a private doctor arising out of an alleged failure to treat his hypogonadism in 1983. Limitation was tried as a preliminary issue. It was found that the Respondent’s date of knowledge for the purpose of the Limitation Act 1980 was in the 1980s, but the Judge disapplied the primary limitation period as against the Appellant and not the private doctor. The Appellant appealed on the grounds that the Judge had erred when exercising his discretion to disapply limitation under s 33 Limitation Act 1980. The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Ryder, Lord Justice Lindblom, Lord Justice Thirlwall) allowed the appeal as it held that the Judge had erred when considering s 33 Limitation Act 1980. In particular, it noted that there had been a delay of around 28 years in bringing the proceedings and that as all of the relevant evidence had been lost or destroyed in the intervening years, it would be inequitable to require the Appellant to defend the Claim.

Anna was instructed by Weightmans LLP for the Appellant.

The judgment can be viewed here.

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