Wilkins v University Hospital North Midlands NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2164 (QB) (30 July 2021)

This is the trial of a preliminary issue. The issue is whether this clinical negligence claim is time-barred by virtue of the provisions of the Limitation Act 1980 (the ‘1980 Act’). This requires the Court to determine two discrete sequential questions, namely:

i) Whether the claim was brought within 3 years of the Claimant acquiring the requisite knowledge of the cause of action, within the meaning of s.11(4) of the 1980 Act?

ii) Whether, if not, the Court should nevertheless exercise its discretion, pursuant to s.33 of the 1980 Act, and permit the claim to proceed. [1]

I conclude that the claim was not brought within 3 of years of the Claimant having the relevant knowledge within the meaning of s.11 of the 1980 Act but that it would be equitable in all the circumstances to disapply that time limit and permit the claim to proceed. [89]