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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Stay of proceedings

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I submitted a claim for compensation for a flight delay against Airline Company ‘A’ (Defendant) in July 2013. A hearing was scheduled for October 2013.  The Defendant obtained a stay of proceedings, a day before the hearing, until January 2014 and then a further stay until May 2014 in light of a pending Court of Appeal judgment.  The court relisted the hearing for end of July 2014.  The Defendant now states although the Court of Appeal judgment dismissed Airline Company ‘B’ appeal, the Defendant confirms Airline Company ‘B’ intention to make an application to the Supreme Court.  The Defendant has again requested a further stay of proceedings until October 2014 when they believe the Supreme Court will deal with Airline Company ‘B’ application.  Frankly, I am exhausted by the Defendant’s action in this claim – can they obtain a further stay despite no application has been considered by the Supreme Court?  Thank you.

Alex Hughes : My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today.
Alex Hughes : Presumably the issues relating to B are the same or similar to A?

My claim concerns a faulty electrical part on an aircraft. The Court of Appeal judgment relates to leaking hydraulic pipe on another aircraft. The only similarity of the two concern the phrase 'extraordinary circumstances'. However, the Defendant states it is the 'intention' of Airline Company 'B' to make an application and therefore at this time the Supreme Court are not receipt of it. Is there a rule that can help me in this matter please?

Alex Hughes : Thanks for the additional information. I have taken some time to consider Civil Procedure Rules and the law regarding stay of proceedings pending decisions of the appeal courts and estoppel. All the procedural rules and law indicates to the normal practice of staying proceedings while an issue of significant importance is considered by the senior courts. Whilst this may be frustrating for you in terms of delay, it could, of course, work in your favour. In order to stay the proceedings the defendant has to make an application to the County Court which you could oppose. However, in all probability even if you oppose the application a stay is likely to be granted. I am sorry that I could not give you more positive news but I think it's only right that I should point out the correct legal position.

Thank you. However, the EU intend to change the criteria relating to flight delays shortly, which would ultimately remove the current criteria relating to my claim. If these changes to the regulations are implemented without my claim being heard in the meantime, would these changes have a direct effect on my claim as I believe the Defendant could effectively request the court to strike out my claim based on the new criteria?

Alex Hughes :

No. I think that highly unlikely. The court would determine your claim based on the law which existed at the time of the event giving rise to the claim and indeed the date you commenced proceedings. A change in the law post-event will not undermine your claim. Laws are rarely retrospective so I think you will be fine on this issue.

Alex Hughes :

Can I assist further?


Thank you for your responses.

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