New case on when corrections to a pleading amount to a new cause of action

New case considering the application of the dictum in the CA case of Berezovsky v Abarmovich [2011] 1 WLR 2290 para 59 as to when corrections to a pleading do/not amount to introducing a new cause of action:

Highways England Company Limited V (1) B.G Rodwell Limited (2) Robert Cheadle (3) Allianz Insurance [2017] EWCH 118 (QB)

The Defendant lorry driver collided with a bridge over the A14 in 2009.  It is alleged that the collision caused c £1/2m damage, at the time of the collision the bridge was owned by the Secretary of State for Transport.

By the time proceedings were issued, shortly before limitation expired, title to the bridge and to causes of action had been transferred pursuant to a statutory scheme to Highways England Company Limited. Proceedings were issued in the name of Highways England Company Limited but the Defendants argued it did not sufficiently plead its standing to sue, the transfer not being pleaded.

Highways England Limited attempted to cure this by Further Information and ultimately an application to amend in response to the Defendants application to strike out / summary judgment.

The Claimant argued that amendment was not needed but if so, it should be permitted in the form of a revised draft.  The Defendants argued that any amendment was an attempt to bring a new claim after limitation had expired and should not be permitted.  It also argued that in the absence of amendment the claim should be struck out / summary judgment should be given.

The judge found in HECL’s favour holding (i) no amendment was needed (ii) the amendment did not introduce a new cause of action or (iii) if it did it arose out of substantially the same facts and discretion should be exercised in favour of allowing it.

Isabel Hitching acted for the Claimant
Jason Evans-Tovey acted for the Defendants

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