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Contribution proceedings not a claim for PI

In South West Strategic Health Authority [SWSHA] v Bay Island Voyages [BIV] [2015] EWCA Civ 708, the Court of Appeal reconfirmed that contribution between a defendant and a third party is not a personal injury claim.

19 August 2015

An employee of SWSHA was injured at sea, in the Bristol Channel, during a team-building activity in August 2008. BIV operated the craft involved. The claimant issued proceedings against SWSHA in August 2011, within the usual three-year limitation period. SWSHA defended that and in June 2012 issued a part 20 claim against BIV, seeking contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978.

The 1974 Athens Convention applies, by secondary legislation, to incidents in domestic waters. It stipulates that: ‘no action for damages for the death of or personal injury to a passenger... shall be brought against a carrier... otherwise than in accordance with this Convention’. It also provides that injury claims ‘shall be time barred after a period of two years [and] in no case shall an action... be brought after the expiration of a period of three years’.

BIV argued SWSHA’s part 20 claim was outside the c...

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