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Accident Compensation Cases

Duncan v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 23/08/07)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
The appellant is an infant now aged seven years. 
On 22 August 2005, Mr Peter Sara, Barrister and Solicitor, lodged a Notice of Appeal with the Registry from a Review Decision dated 15 August 2005. That decision declined the appellant's claim for cover for personal injury by medical misadventure, being medical mishap. 
In correspondence with the Registry, Mr Sara advised that the appeal would not be moved forward until the question of Legal Aid had been considered and granted, following which a medical report would be commissioned. 
Subsequent correspondence between the Registry and Mr Sara indicated that he was still seeking instructions from the appellant's parents. 
In November 2006, Mr Sara advised the Registry that he was no longer acting for the appellant and he advised the Registry of the appellant's father's address, from whom he had formerly been receiving instructions. 
In April 2007, Mr Duncan, the appellant's father, advised the Registry that he was seeking to engage another lawyer. Nothing further was heard from Mr Duncan or anyone on his behalf and therefore by registered letter dated 23 July 2007 Mr Duncan was written to and advised that a Directions Hearing would be heard in the District Court on Thursday, 9 August 2007, at 10.00 a.m. The letter advised that one of the options open to the Court would be the dismissal of the appeal if no attendance was had. 
On 9 August 2007, Mr I Hunt appeared on behalf of the respondent. Mr Duncan was called but there was no appearance. At 10.15 a.m., Mr Hunt made application for the dismissal of the appeal, he submitting that no positive steps to prosecute the appeal had been taken and that no appearance on behalf of the appellant at the Directions Hearing was further evidence of this. 
After reviewing the file, and in particular giving careful consideration to the Review Decision and the circumstances of the claim for cover as disclosed in that decision, I came to the view that there was little prospect of this appeal being successful. Accordingly, despite the fact that the appellant is a minor I determined that this appeal be dismissed pursuant to Section 161(3) of the Act. 

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