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(1) Collin Cameron (2) Celia Mary Cameron (3) Patricia Mary Smith (4) Ann Theresa Smith v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd

At the time of the Potters’ Bar train crash, Railtrack, as the infrastructure controller of the national railway network, was not a public authority for the purposes of s 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and was not acting as such.

9 June 2006

The applicant company (N) applied for summary judgment in an action brought against it by the respondents (C), who were relatives of a woman killed in the Potters Bar train crash. N, the successor to Railtrack, was responsible for controlling the infrastructure of the national railway network. C had brought claims for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998, on the ground that the state had breached their rights under Art 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 in failing to ensure that there was a remedy that could provide them with “just satisfaction”. C also argued for the creation of a new tort of causing wrongful death, to fill a lacuna in the common law: under English law there was a restricted class of persons able to bring proceedings on behalf of a deceased person, which did not include the daughters of a deceased person who were not financially dependent on the deceased. In order for C’s claims to succeed, Railtrack had to be a public authority at the relev...

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