Accrual of Cause of Action in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Pirelli General Cable Works Ltd v Oscar Faber & Partners
    • House of Lords
    • 09 Dic 1982

    The appellants maintain that the cause of action accrued more than six years before the writ was issued. The third is that on which cracks occurred, namely, April 1970. These three dates are all more than six years before the issue of the writ, which as already mentioned, was 17th October 1978. If any of them is the correct date, the action is time barred.

    The plaintiff's cause of action will not accrue until damage occurs, which will commonly consist of cracks coming into existence as a result of the defect even though the cracks or the defect may be undiscovered and undiscoverable.

    It is not necessary for the present purpose to decide whether that submission is well-founded, but as at present advised, I do not think it is. It seems to me that, except perhaps where the advice of an architect or consulting engineer leads to the erection of a building which is so defective as to be doomed from the start, the cause of action accrues only when physical damage occurs to the building.

  • Sheldon (and Others) v R H. M. Outhwaite (Underwriting Agencies) Ltd (and Others)
    • House of Lords
    • 04 May 1995

    Perhaps a more cogent argument against the construction is that if it is correct even a concealment taking place more than six years after accrual of the cause of action would bring section 32(1) into play. But that is not a realistic objection, since it is not conceivable that a potential defendant would set out to conceal facts relevant to a cause of action when more than six years had elapsed since its accrual.

    For myself, I do not find it absurd that the effect of section 32(1) is to afford to the plaintiff a full six year period of limitation from the date of the discovery of the concealment. In such a case, the plaintiff must have been ignorant of the relevant facts during the period preceding the concealment: if he knew of them, no subsequent act of the defendant can have concealed them from him.

  • Kimathi and Others v Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 24 May 2018

    The Defendant points out that the duty to keep those documents was on the officer in charge of a prison. Detention camps were at different times and places under varying types of control. Importantly, there was no requirement to keep the documents centrally, whether in the KNA or elsewhere. There is no direct evidence that any such record was destroyed at all. There was no statutory duty on the new Kenyan government to keep them.

  • Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank Plc
    • Chancery Division
    • 10 Nov 2017

    In my view there is no substance whatsoever in the current version of this defence, based on a notional set of bankers' drafts which were said arguably to have been issued at about the same time and in the same amounts as, and in addition to, the drawdown payments referred to in the Warri Schedule. There is no evidence that any such additional bankers' drafts existed, and the suggestion that they did is wholly implausible in the circumstances.

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Legislation
  • Latent Damage Act 1986
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1986
    ...... Act to amend the law about limitation of actions in relation to actions for damages for negligence ... to have, in certain circumstances, a cause of action in respect of negligent damage to the ... cause of action are not known at date of accrual. (1) This section applies to any action for. ......
  • Limitation Act 1980
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1980
    ...... Time Limits for Different Classes of Action Part I . Ordinary Time Limits for Different ... of six years from the date on which the cause of action. accrued. S-3 . Time limit in case ...the expiration of six years from the accrual of the cause of. action in respect of the ......
  • Limitation Act 1939
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1939
    ...... enactments relating to the limitation of actions and arbitrations. . [25th May 1939] . . B . ...the cause of action accrued, that is to say:— .   . ( ...from the accrual of the cause of action in respect of the. ......
  • Limitation (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1987
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1987
    ......''action'' includes any proceeding in a court of law, an ... negligence actions where facts relevant to cause of action are not known at date of accrual. ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • NOTES OF CASES
    • Núm. 46-1, Enero 1983
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... ownership she neither knew nor had cause to know. Her defence was based on a ... strong claim to immunity from action by him. This is not to suggest that ...) did not leave the date of accrual of cause of action to be deduced from ......
  • Latent Damage—Squaring the Circle?
    • Núm. 48-5, Septiembre 1985
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... limitation period commences when the cause of action accrues, and in negligence ... running from the date of accrual of the action, most commonly the ......
  • Reform of the Law of Latent Damage
    • Núm. 54-3, Mayo 1991
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... confined to building and construction actions, which have given rise to the more difficult ... 54 Reform Committee to preserve the accrual rule in Pirelli because it was established ... also voiced that injustice may be caused as a result of the removal of the ......
  • First Catch Your Defendant—Limitation and the Unknown Tortfeasor
    • Núm. 29-4, Julio 1966
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... of our law of limitation of actions. This article proposes to examine a ... identity of the person who has caused the injury or damage and, though he ... is absent and unknown prevent the accrual of a cause of action against him? ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Case Law Update 2011 - Issue 2
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... Surveyors (refusal by court of pre-action disclosure for arbitration). Stay of ... upon the physical damage to their property caused by the negligence of the lorry drivers. These ... Limitation and accrual of cause of action. City & General (Holborn) ......
  • Know Your Limits: The Accrual Of A Cause Of Action In Tort
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
  • Payment limitation periods for works and services
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In the recent case of ICE Architects Ltd v Empowering People Inspiring Communities [2018] EWHC 281 (QB), the English High Court considered whether the wording of the payment provisions in a contrac...
    ...... a contract rebutted the presumption that a cause of action in respect of payment for work and ......
  • The tort of intimidation and economic duress: another high hurdle for claimants to jump?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The High Court recently handed down its decision in Oliver Dean Morley t/a Morley Estates v. The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2020] EWHC 88 (Ch), in which the claimant made allegations of intimidati...
    ...... the claimant had failed to establish either cause of action. . Elements of the tort of ......
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