Master Whitaker has written a detailed article in the September 2006 issue of Civil Court News on how mesothelioma cases will be dealt with following the overturning of the Barker case by the Compensation Act 2006.

MIB Fast Track Understanding

The Fast Track Understanding is a scheme designed to aid early settlement of uninsured claims by reducing the amount of paperwork and processes involved. Cases of a likely quantum of general and special damages of less than £5,000, and where liability is not in dispute, are eligible for the understanding.

The MIB stresses that they wish to deal with claims as fairly and efficiently as possible.

Judgment set aside when defendant ignorant of it

In a property case, a judgment was set aside on the basis that the defendant had not been served with the claim form and had no knowledge of the proceedings. The claimant had issued proceedings seeking possession of furnished residential property. The claim form had been approved by the court for postal service and was deemed to have been served two days later.

By mistake, the address on the form was wrong. The defendant did not respond to the form. Judgment was obtained and the defendant applied to set it aside. It was common ground that judgment had been given not in default under Part 12 of CPR but after a hearing under Part 55.

The District Judge held that, to have the judgment set aside, the defendant had to satisfy the provisions of Rule 39.3 (5) of CPR. On appeal, the County Court Judge held that the judgment should be set aside if the defendants had not been served with a form and had no knowledge of proceedings and that Rule 39.3(5) did not confer jurisdiction on the court in those circumstances.

The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal, which held that, where a claimant has obtained a judgment against a defendant who had not been served with the claim form in accordance with CPR and had no knowledge of the proceedings, the defendant would normally be entitled to an order setting aside the judgment and for his costs of the application.

Nelson and Another -v- Clear Springs (Management) Limited, Court of Appeal, 22 September 2006, Times Law Reports.