Under Order 10(1) of the Civil Procedure Rules, a defendant in an action may request the court's leave to add another person as a third party where the defendant claims:
(a) that he is entitled to contribution or indemnity, or
(b) that he is entitled to any relief or remedy relating to or connected with the original subject matter of the action and substantially the same as some relief or remedy claimed by the plaintiff, or
(c) that any question or issue relating to or connected with the said subject matter is substantially the same as some question or issue arising between the plaintiff and the defendant and should properly be determined not only as between the plaintiff and the defendant but as between the plaintiff and defendant and the third party or between any or either of them, the Court or a Judge may give leave to the defendant to issue and serve a "third-party notice". (1)
Once the rights of the plaintiff and the defendant are determined in the context of the principal action, the rights between the defendant and the third party are ascertained and bound by the decision between the plaintiff and the defendant.
Relevant case law on this matter has established that the object of this process is as follows:
in the first place to get the third party bound by the decision between the plaintiff and the defendant. In the next place it is directed to getting the question between the defendant and the third party decided as soon as possible after the decision between the plaintiff and the defendant, so that the defendant may not be in the position of having to wait a considerable time before he establishes his right of indemnity against the third party while all the time the plaintiff is enforcing his judgment against the defendant. And thirdly, it is directed to saving the extra expense which would be involved by two independent actions.(2)
The Supreme Court's recent judgment in Euroklima Ltd v GN Kokkonis & Son Limited (Civil Appeal E4/2016, 23 April 2019) examined the correctness of the first-instance court's interpretation of Order 10(1) of the Civil Procedure Rules and in particular who can be added as a third party to a process pending before the courts.
Publisher: International Law Office
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