19 October 2021 - Written by Georgina Cursham

Costs Order against Dental Expert who Showed a Flagrant, Reckless Disregard for his Duties to the Court

Having blanked his screen and left the ongoing court proceedings to pick up his son from school, the Claimant’s expert witness in ...

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12 October 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Breach of Duty and Hospital Guidelines: Thorley v Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2604 (QB)

This case considered the interplay between hospital guidelines and breach of duty in the clinical negligence setting. In summary, the Court found that: The guideline relied upon by the Claimant did not apply to the procedure...

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22 September 2021 - Written by Tom Carter

Illegality in Clinical Negligence Claims

A man with longstanding mental health issues walks into a pub with a can of petrol and a knife. He proceeds to pour the petrol on himself and says he is going to burn the pub down. The police are called, he is arrested and whilst in police custody, he undergoes a Ment...

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7 September 2021 - Written by Philip Davy

Vicarious Liability and the Non-Delegable Duty in the Context of Dental Negligence Claims: Hughes v Rattan

For several years in the 2000s and 2010s, the law relating to vicarious liability and non-fault liability more generally was 'on the move'. However, in the last couple of years, the case law dealing with non-fault liability has bee...

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14 July 2021 - Written by Nikhil Arora

Secondary Victims: Still Second-Class Claimants?

In King v Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 1576 (QB), the High Court once again demonstrated the difficulties faced by Claimants who suffer psychiatric condi...

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24 June 2021 - Written by Rochelle Rong & Alexandra Pountney

Meadows v Khan in the Supreme Court: Scope of Duty in Clinical Negligence Claims

In Meadows v Khan [2021] UKSC 21, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Ms Meadows' appeal, finding that there was no principled basis for excluding a clinical negligence claim from the ambit of the 'scope of duty principle' in the tort of negligence. The j...

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11 May 2021 - Written by Richard Seabrook

Considerations of Consent, Capacity and Best Interests

Imagine the following scenario. A patient, known to have mental health issues, has been consenting to a proposed or potential course of medical treatment. Then, as the need to embark on that treatment crystalizes and becomes urgent, consent is withdrawn. The treatment...

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29 April 2021 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

Cauda Equina: Tells & Tales About the "Horse's Tail"

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the spinal canal causes the nerves in the lower back to become severely compressed. Typically, but not exclusively, it results from a prolapsed disc bulge. The condition requires urgent...

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20 April 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Clinical Negligence Cases: When the Bolam Test Does Not Apply

The law requires medical practitioners to use diligence, care, knowledge, skill and caution in administering treatment to a patient. The question of whether a medical practitioner has met the requisite standard of care is often considered by reference to the test laid...

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12 April 2021 - Written by Edward James

High Court Considers Whether Cardiac Surgery Leading to Re-Do Surgery Was Negligent

In Negus v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 643 (QB), the High Court considered whether an NHS Trust was...

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1 April 2021 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Wrongful Birth, Wrongful Life & Negligence: Considering Toombes v Mitchell

Thomas Herbert's article on Lambert J's decision in Toombes v Mitchell [2020] EWHC 3506 (QB), which considered the correct interpretation of section 1 of the Congenital D...

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17 March 2021 - Written by Christopher Lowe & Alexandra Pountney

Informed Consent: Updated GMC Guidance

The topic of consent has been increasingly contentious since the Supreme Court’s decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] AC 1430, which shifted the focus from Bolam-style clinical paternalism to patient autonomy. ...

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25 February 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Cauda Equina Syndrome and Referrals for Investigations: High Court Rejects Claim for Delayed Scan

In Jarman v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 323 (QB), the Claimant brought a claim against the Defendant hospital for failing to promptly diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome ("CES"). This case is of note for two reasons: ...

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23 February 2021 - Written by Rachel Young & Thomas Herbert

Revisiting the Test of Material Contribution in Clinical Negligence Claims following Davies v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

In Davies v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 169 (QB), the High Court considered the question of causation in circumstances where the deceased had suffered from acute pneu...

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19 February 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Fundamental Dishonesty in Clinical Negligence Cases: Unreliable Does Not Necessarily Mean Dishonest

In Brint v Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 290 (QB), HHJ Platts, sitting as a High Court Judge, declined to make a finding of fundamental ...

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17 February 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Non-Delegable Duties of Care and NHS-Funded Private Services

In Hopkins v (1) Akramy (2) Badger Group (3) NHS Commissioning Board [2020] EWHC 3445 (QB), the High Court considered, as a preliminary issue, whether an NHS Primary Care Trust ("P...

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8 February 2021 - Written by Gareth McAloon

'Seconds Out!': Secondary Victim Claims Arising from Clinical Negligence to go to the Court of Appeal

Claims by secondary victims arising from clinical negligence have for many years been a battleground between Claimants and the NHS, particularly where the psychiatric damage that is the subject of the claim occurs many months after the purported breach of duty in...

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26 January 2021 - Written by Shilpa Shah

Interim Payments on Account of Costs in Clinical Negligence Cases

Whilst clinical negligence practitioners are especially accomplished in ensuring that they properly advise their clients to claim an interim payment on account of damages when this best suits their client’s needs, the opportunity of seeking an interim payment on...

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18 January 2021 - Written by Jason Cox

Limitation Practice in Clinical Negligence Cases After Azam

Clinical negligence cases can be complex enough without the added difficulty of delay in bringing proceedings resulting in a limitation defence. When it is raised by Defendants it is currently common for cases to be managed so that limitation will be tried as a prelim...

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28 October 2020 - Written by Christopher Lowe

Informed Consent: Where Are We Now?

In Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] 1 AC 1430, the Supreme Court held that "[t]he doctor is ... under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and...

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19 August 2020 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

Contributory Negligence in Clinical Negligence Cases

Travel back seven decades: the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 was given Royal Assent on 15 June 1945; three years later, on 5 July 1948, the NHS was founded. At the level of principle, the statute effected a radical ...

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30 June 2020 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Proving Causation in Clinical Negligence Claims: Pitfalls and Hurdles

In the context of clinical negligence cases, causation can be just as tricky to establish as breach, perhaps even more so. The difficulties arise in part because many of these cases involve Claimants who were injured or ill before seeking the treatment or advice that ...

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21 April 2020 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Recovering Inquest Costs in Subsequent Civil Proceedings

It is well-known that, in principle, the costs of an inquest are recoverable in a subsequent clinical negligence claim. The leading case in this regard, also well-known, is Roach v Home Office [2010] QB 256. Ever...

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Ropewalk Chambers

For many years we have acted in cases across the spectrum of clinical negligence litigation, ranging from smaller claims arising from dental treatment and minor cosmetic surgery to the most serious cases of birth and catastrophic injury and fatality. The depth of experience in our Clinical Negligence Team allows us to meet all levels of requirement.

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Sadly, some medical errors result in the death of the patient and we are able to provide expertise in advising and representation at inquests and in subsequent civil claims for damages.

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