Other Areas of Law, Property, Chancery & Commercial, Public Authority Liability
Limitation comfort for Local Authorities

A deputy high court judge(Nigel Wilkinson QC) has declined to exercise his discretion under s33 of the Limitation Act 1980 to dis-apply the limitation period in a case where the claimant alleged social services should have taken her into care in the 1970s. Although all the social service records were available, the defendant was prejudiced by the inability to locate and obtain evidence from witnesses.  There came a time when defendants and their insurers were entitled to regard a matter as closed and a fair trial was impossible. The defendant had also been prejudiced by a change in the law after the limitation period had expired and proportionality was also a factor in the defendant’s favour. HBL v Wirral MBC, ex tempore judgment on 8/12/12/.


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