The Claimant had been employed by the Defendant. He suffered a severe brain injury during the course of his employment. Liability was admitted subject to 25% contributory negligence, with quantum to be decided. The Claimant was proposing to call evidence from 43 witnesses in relation to his loss of earnings claim. Their statements covered four broad issues:
- but for the accident the Claimant would have worked abroad and earned more money,
- whether he would have retired at 65 or 70,
- his promotion prospects, and
- what earnings he could have reasonably expected.
An application was made by the Defendant to limit the Claimant to 8 witnesses, on the basis the issues were common to personal injury claims.
The statements were brief, and did not attach any additional evidence. There was material duplication. It could be said that the possible sum of the evidence may outweigh the probative weight of its parts.
Under CPR 32.2(3) which came into effect as a result of the Jackson Reforms the Court has the power to deploy a number of measures to reduce the cost and ensure trial is conducted effectively and fairly. The Court would only consider limiting witnesses if other less intrusive measures had been considered. A Court would generally wish to limit witnesses at an early stage, if possible before preparation of the statements. In doing so the Court is entitled to expect a level of cooperation by the parties.
The Claimant was permitted to call 14 witnesses in relation to comparative earnings, and 14 witnesses for other matters, as well as relying upon the Claimant's evidence and that of his wife. Any fewer risked causing an injustice.