The judgment of Mr Justice Ritchie in  Haggerty-Garton & Ors v Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd [2021] EWHC 2924 (QB) is interesting in that it shows the application of Scottish principles of damages to a fatal case (the award was much higher than it would have been under the law of England and Wales). However there is also an interesting procedural point, the judge refused the Defendant permission to amend its counter-schedule.



The claimants were bringing damages for losses following the death Mr Haggerty-Garton.  The defendant’s counterschedule was served late, some six weeks before trial.  Two days before the trial the defendant filed a skeleton argument which contained substantially different figures to those in the counter-schedule.


The judgment records that there had been earlier hearings. It was held that it was necessary for the defendant to make a formal application to amend the figures in the counter-schedule. Once the application had been made it was dismissed.

The application to amend the counter-schedule
[17]           Two days before the trial the Defendant served a skeleton argument which contained substantially different figures from those contained in the Defendant’s served counter schedule. Although the Defendant did not accept that it needed permission to amend its counter schedule, the Claimants asserted that they were prejudiced by the reductions in the figures which had been admitted in the Defendant’s counter schedule, which were reduced in the Defendant’s skeleton and that the pleaded case was being changed without permission. To explain this, for instance, in relation to loss of society, having admitted that the appropriate figure was £85,000 in relation to the first Claimant and £30,000 in relation to each of the first Claimant’s 3 male children, in the skeleton the Defendant sought to reduce those sums respectively to £25,000, and £5,000 for each of the children.
[18]           I was asked to determine whether an application to amend the Defendant’s counter schedule was necessary to enable the Defendant to alter its case so radically.
[19]           I heard submissions on that topic and gave a ruling on the necessity for amendment of the Defendant’s statement of case. Having given that ruling the Defendant gave an undertaking to file a part 23 notice of application to amend its counter schedule by 4:00 PM on Monday the 1st of November and I preceded to determine the application by the Defendant to amend its statement of case to reduce the figures admitted therein. For the reasons set out in the extempore judgement which I gave on the application, I refused permission to the Defendant to amend its counter schedule. I will not rehearse those reasons here save to say that I did not allow the submitted reductions in the sums admitted in the counter schedule by the Defendant.