- Multiple claimants with disparate claims not permitted on a single claim form (Abbott v Ministry of Defence)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
PI & Clinical Negligence analysis: The court held that it was impermissible for some 3,500 individual claimants, all seeking damages against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) allegedly caused by their military service, to be included on a single claim form, for which one issue fee was paid. Instead, a separate claim form had to be issued for each claimant, and individual issue fees paid. The court’s decision was consistent with the approach previously taken in Turner v MOD and Bargh v MOD. The administrative and financial burdens on those seeking to bring claims on behalf of a cohort of individuals with disparate claims should not be overlooked. The position is not different under a formal group litigation order (GLO). ‘Omnibus’ or ‘bulk’ claim forms containing numerous claimants with disparate claims are vulnerable to being struck out. Written by Peter Houghton, barrister at Crown Office Chambers.
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