On Monday 22 November 2010, the Court of Appeal handed down its unanimous judgment in the Atomic Veterans Litigation, allowing the Ministry of Defence’s appeal in respect of limitation and holding that (with one exception) the 10 lead cases in this group action are time-barred. The Ministry of Defence was represented by a team of counsel including David Evans, Richard Mumford and Matthew Donmall.
The judgment provides important clarification of the law of limitation, in respect of both the definition of “knowledge” for the purposes of section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980 and the proper approach to the court’s power to disapply the limitation period pursuant to section 33. The ruling also provides guidance on the law of causation in tort and in particular on the likely limits to expansion of the exception to the “but for” principle set out in Fairchild.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.