4.33: Dismissal for long delay

Case Summary

The Plaintiff commenced an Action against her counsel who represented her in a personal injury matter. The Action against the lawyers was struck for long delay by a Master, and the Plaintiff appealed. The only issue on appeal was whether steps taken in the related personal injury Action could significantly advance the Plaintiff’s Claim.

The Appellant acknowledged that more than three years had passed in her Action against her prior counsel, but argued that the personal injury Action was “inextricably linked” to the Action against the lawyers. The Respondent argued that the Master did not err in finding that the Actions were not “inextricably linked”.

Justice Jones observed that the Actions were linked, but not inextricably so. The connections between the Actions did not relieve the Plaintiff from the obligation to diligently and reasonably pursue the Action against her counsel. The Plaintiff’s Appeal was therefore dismissed.

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