Haylock et al. v. Norwegian Cruise Lines

In Admiralty Practice, Delay and Time Extensions on (Updated )

This was an application by the Defendants to dismiss the actions of several of the Plaintiffs for failure to deliver written answers to examination questions on the date specified in the case management schedule. The answers were to be delivered by 1 November 2004 but by 1 April 2005 they still had not been delivered and the Plaintiffs had taken no steps to obtain an extension of time. Moreover, at the hearing the Plaintiffs were unable to provide any assurances to the Court as to when the answers might be provided. The Prothonotary noted that although time limits are not absolute, they are more than mere targets and, subject to uncontrollable events, must be obeyed. The Prothonotary also noted that commonplace missing of deadlines can be an abuse of process which can be dealt with by an order of dismissal. The Prothonotary concluded that in the absence of evidence explaining the delay and in the absence of assurances the answers would be provided by a specified date the appropriate remedy was to dismiss the claims.