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Judge should not have dismissed case against one defendant without hearing all the evidence in relation to liability

By: Ciaran Joyce BL

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Court of Appeal allows appeal of High Court dismissal of a claim against the first named respondent at the close of the appellant’s case, and the refusal to order costs against the third and fourth named defendants arising from a collision on a motor cross racetrack, finding that: a) the trial judge should not have dismissed the case against a fellow motor cross rider; b) there was evidence before the trial judge which satisfied the threshold required to refuse the application for a non-suit; and c) the trial judge should have deferred any decision until all the evidence in relation to liability was heard.

Application for a non-suit – appeal of High Court dismissal of the appellant’s claim against the first named respondent at the close of the appellant’s case and the refusal to order costs against the third and fourth named defendants – liability – whether or not the motorcycles being driven by the appellant and the first named respondent were travelling together or at least close to each other at the time when the appellant fell – there was evidence before the trial judge which satisfied the threshold required to refuse the application for a non-suit – trial judge should have deferred any decision on that point until all the evidence was heard – case remitted to High Court – appeal allowed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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