Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2054 11 R
B. Kalvin
  • Abuse of process
  • Parties (participation)
  • Reconsideration (clarification of decision)
  • Standing

In Decision No. 2054/11, the plaintiff's right of action against a number of defendants was taken away. The Vice-Chair found under s. 29(4) of the WSIA that no damages, contribution or indemnity were recoverable against two of the defendants for negligence of the defendants against whom the right of action was taken away.

Two other defendants chose not to participate in the original right to sue application. Those two defendants now requested a clarification of Decision No. 2054/11 to determine whether they were also entitled to a declaration under s. 29(4).
The Tribunal Practice Direction on Reconsiderations allows for clarification of an omission, ambiguity or misstatement. The defendants did not identify any misstatement or ambiguity in the original decision. The only conceivable omission was that these two defendants were omitted from the scope of the legal protection afforded to certain other defendants. However, given that the two defendants were invited to participate in the original proceedings but expressly declined to do so, omitting them from the scope of the decision was not the sort of omission contemplated by the Practice Direction.
The clarification sought by the two defendants was not, in fact, a request for clarification but, rather, a request to extend the legal scope of the original decision. The Vice-Chair concluded that the decision would not be amended in the manner sought.
The only way in which the two defendants might be able to pursue this matter is to bring their own right to sue application. However, the Vice-Chair was of the view that such an application might constitute an abuse of process.