Sharp v Leeds City Council – WLR Daily

Sharp v Leeds City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 33

‘The claimant alleged that an accident in which she sustained an injury had been caused by the failure of the local authority to maintain a footpath, in breach of its statutory duty. As the damages alleged were less than £25,000 or less, the claim fell within the purview of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employer’s Liability and Public Liability) Claims (“EL/PL Protocol”). The claimant commenced the claims process pursuant to the protocol by loading a claim notification form (“CNF”) via the online Portal process, alleging breach of statutory duty under the Highways Act 1980. The claim subsequently ceased to continue within the EL/PL Protocol and thereafter fell within the Pre-action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims (“the Personal Injury Protocol”), the claimant’s CNF being treated as a letter of claim. As the local authority failed to provide the required pre-action disclosure within the prescribed time pursuant to the Personal Injury Protocol, the claimant made a pre-action disclosure application to the County Court under section 52 of the County Courts Act 1984. The district judge awarded her the costs of the pre-action disclosure application, summarily assessing them on the standard basis at £1,250. He treated the fixed costs regime provided by Section IIIA of CPR Pt 45 as inapplicable to the costs of applications under section 52 in respect of claims which had started, but no longer continued, under the EL/PL Protocol. However, on appeal, a different judge concluded that the fixed costs regime did apply, and the costs payable were reduced to £305.’

WLR Daily, February 2017