There is a brief report on Lawtel of the decision of Judge Robinson in Buswell -v- Symes (QBD 20/04/2015) this involves another case where a witness statement was served late and permission to rely upon that statement was refused. *
The claimant was bringing an action for personal injury. Part of his case was that a farm tractor driven by the First Defendant should have used a different exit from a farm. In March 2015 joint experts met and produced a joint report. On the 8th April the second defendant produced evidence from a new witness and sought permission to rely on that witness. The statement dealt with matters relating to the layout of the farm and use of alternative exits.
- Case management directions had stated that witness evidence could not be served late without permission of the court.
- The witness should have been identified earlier.
- The witness evidence was six months later and produced four weeks before the trial was due to start.
- The breach was serious.
- The breach had occurred because the litigator had failed to investigate the issues with reasonable promptness.
- The claimant was put on the back foot at a late stage.
- The defendant had produced contradictory evidence from their own witnesses, it was difficult to know what other problems could arise.
- It was not fair to allow the evidence to be adduced at this late stage.
- To allow the application would “drive a coach and horses” through Denton.
- Failing to turn up to hearings and serving witness statements late.
- Serving witness statements late: An extremely dangerous practice.
- Relief from sanctions following late service of witness statements: another example
- Late service of witness statements and relief from sanctions in the High Court.
- Late service of witness statements.
- Relief from sanctions and the late service of witness statements (again).
- Relief from sanctions, very late service of witness statements and documents.
* This post is based on the Lawtel summary.