Hannah Saxena appeared for a part 20 Defendant in a multi-track claim involving a six car accident on the motorway.
The Claimants were bringing a claim against the driver of the vehicle directly behind them, who in turn brought Part 20 proceedings against the driver of the vehicle that the Claimants were passengers in. With a trial approaching in July the Claimants applied to add the driver of the car that they were in as a Second Defendant.
The application was successfully resisted by Hannah Saxena who argued that although the driver of their car was a party to proceedings adding him as a Second Defendant to the claim was a substantial change as it entirely changed the potential liability of the driver. The judge accepted the submission that as limitation had expired and as it was not necessary to add the other driver for proceedings to continue then the application should fail under CPR r19.5. The judge also accepted that the driver would be prejudiced if a trial went ahead 20 days after they had been added as a Second Defendant and there was no way a two day trial date should be vacated.
It was also found that there was no good reason why the time limit under s33 of the Limitation Act 1980 should be extended simply because a direct claim against the driver of their vehicle had failed to be considered until a few weeks before trial.
To read more about Hannah’s practice, click here.