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Stoke on Trent City Council v John Walley [2006] EWCA Civ 1137

In the circumstances it had not been demonstrated that a local authority’s withdrawal of its pre-action admission of liability was either an abuse of the process of the court or was otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the case within r 3.4(2)(b), CPR.

11 August 2006

The appellant local authority appealed against a decision that it was bound by a pre-action admission of liability in respect of personal injury suffered by the respondent (W) and that summary judgment should be entered for W. W claimed that he had injured his knee while working for the local authority as a refuse collector. The local authority referred the case to its loss adjusters who investigated and then informed W that liability would not be in issue. The employee of the loss adjusters who made the admission was later dismissed as incompetent, W’s claim was reviewed and the local authority rescinded the admission of liability. W issued proceedings and the local authority filed a defence denying liability. W applied to strike out the defence under r 3.4(2) CPR, on the ground that it was an abuse of process or otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings, and the local authority cross-applied for permission to resile from its earlier admission of liability...

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