We acted for a Claimant who had a complaint against the Ministry of Defence for failing to diagnose an acoustic neuroma. This is a tumour in the brain which, if untreated, can cause a number of physical effects such as blindness, deafness and Bell's Palsy.
Our client's primary allegations were that on three occasions the Defendant failed to notify him of an appointment to see an ENT specialist and on one occasion explicitly stopped the Claimant from attending. These acts were alleged to have taken over a 2 year period. The Defendant alleged that as proceedings were not brought until 2005 the claim was too time barred under the Limitation Act 1980.
In July 2009 this matter came before the High Court for a decision as to whether the Claimant was out of time and could proceed with his claim. The court found that the Claimant was out of time under the Limitation Act 1980 as he failed to seek appropriate advice upon his discharge from the Army in 1997. However, the Court exercised its discretion under Section 33 of the Limitation Act in that, although the Claimant was out of time the Court found it just to allow the Claimant to proceed in any event. In making its decision the Court had regard to all of the circumstances and in particular any prejudice caused to the Defendant in respect of the lateness of the claim.
The defendants admitted liability shortly before trial and the case now proceeds on quantum matters only in order to assess the amount of compensation which our client will receive .