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A (Appellant) v Iorworth Hoare (Respondent) [2006] EWCA Civ 395

The Court of Appeal was bound by the decision of the House of Lords in Stubbings v Webb (1993) AC 498 to hold that although most claims for damages for physical or psychiatric injury had an extendable three-year limitation period from the date of the claimant's knowledge, claims for damages arising out of an intentional sexual assault had a non-extendable six-year limitation period from the date of the assault.

28 April 2006

The appellants (H, X and Y) appealed against decisions dismissing their claims for damages for the psychiatric harm they had suffered as a consequence of sexual abuse to which they were exposed during their school days with the respondent local authorities. The appellant (Z) appealed against a decision that her claim for damages for attempted rape against the respondent sex offender was statute barred. All four cases had been determined in accordance with Stubbings v Webb (1993) AC 498, which meant that each had been treated as incidents of intentional sexual assault and were therefore subject to a non-extendable limitation period of six years. Although the Law Commission had recommended a reform whereby extension of the limitation period in such circumstances should be in the discretion of the court, no such reform had been implemented. It was argued that the decision in Stubbings should no longer be followed or that it could be distinguished on the facts where a ...

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