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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Accident Compensation Cases

Ensor v Attorney-General in respect of the Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment (EMC, 19/03/98)

Judgment Text

Goddard CJ
This morning I have heard the argument advanced for the defendant by Mrs Chan and a part of the argument in opposition that Ms Haultain intended to present. There ensued a discussion with counsel and it became apparent that, whatever the prospects of success of the application to strike out, the statement of claim is going to need to undergo amendment for other procedural reasons and Ms Haultain has undertaken to amend it. Moreover, it is clear that, while the statement of claim may at present offend in that it seeks arguably at any rate compensation for the kinds of matters that are referred to in s14 of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992, particularly in the concluding lines of s14(3) of that Act, nevertheless it seems likely that the statement of claim is capable of being amended and, if that is so, then of course it would not be appropriate to strike it out under the well-established principles on which the Court acts in such cases.  
As a result of the discussion I have referred to, counsel are agreed that this application should stand adjourned to enable the plaintiff to file an amended statement of claim. Ms Haultain has undertaken to do so by Thursday, 9 April 1998. Accordingly, the application will be adjourned but leave will be reserved to the defendant to bring it on for hearing again if no statement of claim is filed that it regards as satisfactory in the sense of not in its view any longer offending against the rules of law on which the defendant has been relying in making its application. 
Mrs Chan has argued that, although the plaintiff has volunteered to file an amended statement of claim, the defendant has been put to expense in getting to this stage and should have some costs. I note the defendant's interest in costs but think it more appropriate, and I believe that in the end Mrs Chan agreed, that that issue as well should stand over until the sequel is seen and it is known just what level of cost has been associated with this particular step in the proceeding. On that basis, then, the application will stand adjourned. 

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