LANGUAGE

(Re: Mowbray) Brambles Holdings Ltd v. British American Tobacco Services Ltd

The plaintiff sued Brambles Holdings Ltd (Brambles), his former employer, alleging that he contracted carcinoma from his exposure to asbestos in the course of his work. Brambles settled with the plaintiff; however, Johns J gave Brambles leave to issue a cross claim against British American Tobacco (BAT) for contributing to the plaintiff's damage because the plaintiff had smoked BAT's cigarettes since the age of 14.

Prior to the cross claim being issued against BAT the plaintiff died. BAT appealed against the decision to allow Brambles to file the cross-claim against it on the basis that Brambles had delayed in doing so. BAT said that it had suffered prejudice as a result because it was no longer able to cross-examine the plaintiff. BAT said that Brambles had intentionally shut it out from obtaining that evidence.

The Court dismissed BAT's appeal on the basis that there was no requirement that BAT be notified of the cross claim or that it be issued by a particular time.