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Accident Compensation Cases

Blyth v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 27/02/13)

Judgment Text

Roderick Joyce QC Judge
This appeal relates to a review decision going back to 2008, the appeal itself - the notice of it - being dated 21 October that year. 
Despite the considerable volume of water that has gone beneath the bridge since then, no submissions have ever been filed. There is on the file a modest wad of communications back and forth about the appeal. 
The registry certainly appears to have done its reasonable best to encourage Ms Blyth to complete her submissions and get them in. 
The responses from Ms Blyth have ranged from mention of the engagement of, or endeavours to engage, a lawyer to reference to various personal or family circumstances besetting her. 
It seems to me that the registry has taken due account of all these and not at any point in the journey applied anything other than reasonable pressure upon Ms Blyth to complete what she is obliged to in order that the appeal might proceed. 
The most recent communication from Ms Blyth is one dated yesterday. Ms Bergin who is here for the Corporation has a copy of it, so I see no need therefore to rehearse its contents save to note that Ms Blyth says that she is at this point endeavouring as best she can to engage a particular occupational health specialist to assist her, if he is able to do that. One whom she did see a number of years ago on a reference from the Corporation, 
She also, in her most recent email, points to family obligations which have pressed upon her and makes reference to the difficulties that life has confronted her with otherwise. 
The Court does not wish to be in any way unreasonable, but the Court also must keep a more than weather eye on the needs of other appellants who get on with the job and get their cases ready for hearing without undue ado. 
What therefore I have decided and the Corporation accepts this as a reasonable approach to take is this: I will give Ms Blyth a very generous further period of time within which to get her case (particularly the medical element which will be the most important element obviously of it) together, 
But that will be in terms that if she has not accomplished that within that very generous period of time, then that will evidence to Court an absence of due diligence in the prosecution of the appeal and thus justification for its dismissal. 
So my direction is that she have until (and this is to allow for the transcription of this minute to be processed and that to go out) Friday 6 September 2013 to lodge her submissions. 
Time will be of the essence, as the lawyers say; that is a deadline as others might describe it. 
So should it be the case that the submissions have not been received by the registry by that date then the appeal will stand dismissed for want of prosecution with due diligence under r 14.24 of the District Courts Rules 2013. 

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