Two judgments handed down today. The first in the Commercial Court where Teare J where he allowed an appeal from an Award of Nic Paines on a speed/consumption dispute.
The second is the fourth Admiralty Court judgment this year. Here Males J had to determine whether liability for a maritime collision had been compromised by the claimants' acceptance of the defendants' offer to settle liability on the basis that each party was 50% to blame, leaving quantum to be determined. The claimants said that they had been so compromised because, despite the expiry of an agreed extension for the issue and service of a claim form, the defendants' offer remained open for acceptance. The defendants said that it had not because the offer only remained open for acceptance if proceedings had been issued and served before expiry of the extension and, as this did not happen, the offer lapsed and no valid service of proceedings has been or could now be effected.
Males J agreed with the defendants so the offer had lapsed. He also rejected the claimants' applications for an extension of time and for the remedying of an error of procedure.
Finally he made a declaration that the claim form had not been validly served and that the court had no jurisdiction to try this claim. Another Ouch!