Author Archives: Neil Moody QC

Floods and expert evidence: Oldcorn v Southern Water Services Ltd

Oldcorn v Southern Water Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 62 TCC 

This case sets clear limits on the Marcic defence and confirms that where a sewerage undertaker’s owes a private law duty of care, it may not be able to rely upon the more limited Leakey “measured” duty of care.

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Filed under Causation, Duty of Care, Expert Evidence, Floods, Nuisance

Cooper v Thameside [2016] EWHC: When proving your case is a burden

Cooper v Thameside [2016] EWHC 1248 follows a line of recent cases (Nulty v Milton Keynes [2013] EWCA, Graves v Brouwer [2015] EWCA, and O’Connor v Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust [2015] EWCA) where the courts have examined the correct approach to proof where there are gaps in the evidence and several competing theories as to how the damage occurred. Continue reading

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Filed under Floods

What to do when an expert lacks independence

What should the Court do when an expert is shown to have an undisclosed connection with one of the parties? The issue arose in EXP v Barker [2015] EWHC, and Kenneth Parker J gave a notably robust answer. The case was not a property damage case – it was a clinical negligence action – but this issue certainly crops up in property damage cases. It is notably problematic when the court is considering a highly specialised or technical field and so there is only a very small pool of experts practising in the relevant sub-speciality. Continue reading

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Filed under Expert Evidence

A tale of two liabilities? The distinction between product and public liabilities

The Court of Appeal yesterday handed down judgment in Aspen insurance UK v. Adana Construction Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 176, a case where insurers were seeking a declaration of non-liability under a policy of public and products liability.

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Shorter pleadings, shorter judgments?

Three cheers for Mr Justice Leggatt who in Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton [2015] EWHC 405 has struck a blow against over-long pleadings. “Statements of case must be concise,” he said. “They must plead only material facts, meaning those necessary for the purpose of formulating a cause of action or defence, and not background facts or evidence. Still less should they contain arguments, reasons or rhetoric.”

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Filed under Particulars of Claim, Pleadings, Statements of Case

Liability of electricity distributors for fire

In Smith v South Eastern Power Networks [2012] EWHC 2541, the Technology and Construction Court considered five tests cases relating to the liability of electricity distributors for fires caused by defects in their equipment installed in customers’ premises.

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