Where there are lots of claimants, trials can take a variety of forms. Sometimes test cases are taken and there may be one or more of those. So the format of the trial might be very different from one case to another, but the point is always the same – to decide whether the claimants have proved their case on the balance of probabilities.
In mass claims, whether under a GLO or otherwise, you should expect trials to go on for at least a week because:
– there will be procedural and technical points taken by lawyers and these will extend the time
– there are lots of parties involved
– mass litigation tends to be so heavily case managed, with corresponding pressure to seek settlement or ADR opportunities, that if cases reach trial it is because there are lots of issues in dispute
Trials might also be split into liability (i.e. whether the defendant is legally responsible for the problem(s) complained of) and quantum (i.e. how much damages the defendant should pay). It saves costs to separate these out – as the Court will not need to waste time dealing with quantum of the liability is not proved – but it certainly doesn’t save time. If the issues are split and trial is required on both, there will be months of delay.
TYPICAL TIMESCALE – EXPECT A 5 DAY TRIAL 10 WEEKS AFTER THE PTR
Step 11: Judgment