Summary of Damages
- The number of damages cases initiated in the civil courts during 2011- 12 decreased by 11 per cent to 3,684. This is a decrease of 20 per cent since 2008-09.
- The majority of damages cases (64 per cent) were initiated under small claims procedure.
- A decree of absolvitor was the most common disposal type across all procedural types, apart from small claims procedure.
Introduction to damages in Scotland
8.1 Damages are a legal remedy that an individual can seek as compensation for harmful action they have experienced through the fault of another party. This can include (but is not limited to): defamation, breach of contract, damage to moveable property, negligence, breach of warranty or guarantee, breach of trust, wrongful diligence, wrongful interdict, malicious prosecution, wrongful apprehension or false imprisonment or fraudulent representation.
Damages in the context of the courts
|Procedure||2008-09||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12||% change on 2010-11|
|Court of Session||337||527||299||304||2|
|Court of Session||206||198||292||291||0|
1 Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases. See paragraph 11.9 for further details
2 Includes Court of Session and Sheriff Court
8.2 There were 3,684 damages cases initiated during 2011-12 across all levels of the Scottish courts, an 11 per cent decrease on 2010-11. The majority of damages cases (64 per cent) were raised using small claims procedure. The total number of damages cases initiated has exhibited a decreasing trend since 2008-09 (down 20 per cent), which is driven by a decrease in the number of small claims cases initiated (down 23 per cent). There has been some fluctuation in the number of cases initiated using other procedures, with a peak in 2009-10. [Table 20]. Cases seeking damages accounted for nine per cent of all cases initiated in the General Department of the Court of Session during 2011-12.
8.3 The number of damages cases disposed of during 2011-12 decreased by four per cent to 3,597. The number of disposals of ordinary cause cases increased by 13 per cent compared to ordinary cause cases initiated which decreased by one fifth. [Table 20].
8.4 Eighty six per cent of damages cases disposed of in both the Court of Session and under ordinary procedure were defended, whereas 61 per cent of summary cause cases were defended and 42 per cent of small claim cases. [Table 21].
8.5 Apart from in small claim cases, the majority of cases disposed of were granted a decree of absolvitor. Sixty two per cent of cases disposed of in the Court of Session and 72 per cent of ordinary cause cases received this disposal type. The proportion of cases dismissed is greater for the less formal court procedures, namely small claims (43 per cent) and summary cause (20 per cent). The proportion of cases disposed of in favour of the pursuer is approximately one fifth for all courts/procedures, except commercial procedure. [Table 21].
|Absolvitor||Dismissed||For Pursuer||Expenses Only||Other||Total|
|Court of Session||304||180||14||1||53||7||2||-||34||291|
1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases. See paragraph 11.9 for further details.
2. Includes Court of Session and Sheriff Court data.
Email: Howard Hooper