Lords scraps PI claim time limit

The House of Lords has overturned the law on time limitations for personal injury cases, reversing a previous Lords decision that had stood for 25 years.

The Lords reversed the Walkley v Precision Forging decision of 1979, meaning the Court of Appeal can now use its discretion in applying a three-year time limit on personal injury claims.

The Lords ruled for Horton, who had been injured by Sadler, an uninsured driver, in a motoring accident. Horton had tried to initiate proceedings but missed the three-year deadline rigidly imposed on personal injury cases.

Edward Bartley-Jones QC, who acted for the appellant, said: “The decision is very important because it revokes an anomalous area of law that has caused constant difficulty to the Court of Appeal and unfairness to individual claimants.”

Manchester firm Rowe Cohen instructed Edward Bartley Jones QC and Michelle Mayoh from Exchange Chambers for Horton. Weightmans instructed Dermod O’Brien QC and Clare Brown at 2 Temple Gardens for Sadler.