ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 336: Does a doctor owe a duty of care to disclose a hereditary disease to a patient’s child?

In this post Rachit Buch of 12KBW discusses the Court of Appeal’s recent reversal of Nicol J’s decision to strike out a claim on the basis that a doctor did not owe a duty of care to disclose a patient’s hereditary disease to his child.

Overturning the decision the Court of Appeal held that it was arguable that medical practitioners could be liable for failing to inform family members of a diagnosis where there was definite, reliable and critical medical information as would be the case in clinical genetics.

Continue reading “ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 336: Does a doctor owe a duty of care to disclose a hereditary disease to a patient’s child?”

FB v Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 334; The spectrum of seniority for professionals in negligence claims

Tim Petts and Ted Cunningham of 12KBW consider this important decision where the Court of Appeal discussed the appropriate standard of care for different ranks of healthcare professionals.

In FB v Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 334, the Court of Appeal overturned a first-instance decision that a junior doctor had not been negligent when examining a one-year-old girl and taking a history from her parents in the early hours of the morning.  Dr R, the senior house officer (SHO) who saw her in A&E, reached a view that FB was probably suffering from a chest infection and discharged her.  Tragically, FB returned to hospital that evening, severely unwell, and was thereafter diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and multiple brain infarcts.  She now has permanent brain damage.

Jackson LJ looked at the general principles of what the law should expect from young professionals near the start of their career.  Continue reading “FB v Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 334; The spectrum of seniority for professionals in negligence claims”

RE (a minor) v Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 824 (QB); primary and secondary victims succeed in birth case

In RE (a minor) v Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 824 (QB) the infant claimant suffered a brain injury during her protracted birth. Her mother and grandmother sustained psychiatric injuries following sight of the baby, who was born in an extremely poor condition.

William Featherby QC and Vanessa Cashman of 12KBW succeeded in obtaining judgment on behalf of all three claimants. Vanessa discusses the case in this post.

Continue reading “RE (a minor) v Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 824 (QB); primary and secondary victims succeed in birth case”

SIMON BARNETT v MEDWAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST [2017] EWCA Civ 235; justified inability to make a finding of fact.

Co-editor of the 12KBW Clinical Negligence blog Rory Badenoch considers the recent Court of Appeal case of Barnett, one of the rare cases in which a judge’s inability to resolve an issue of fact had been justified (Stephens v Cannon [2005] EWCA Civ 222 and Verlander v Devon Waste Management [2007] EWCA Civ 835 applied). Also of note was the Court of Appeal’s criticism of the brevity of the judgment at first instance. This criticism was held to be of particular importance where a key issue is decided on the basis that a claimant has failed to discharge the burden of proof.

Continue reading “SIMON BARNETT v MEDWAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST [2017] EWCA Civ 235; justified inability to make a finding of fact.”

Willmott v The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 181; Cement, shaking heads and arthritic knees

 

In this blog Tim Petts of 12 KBW considers the recent Court of Appeal case of Willmott where the judge at first instance was accused of bias.

It is always slightly unnerving to appear in front of a judge who says something to show that they have personal expertise in a topic, particularly when drawn from their own medical history.  Will the judge with a bad back be overly sympathetic to a fellow-sufferer, or take the view that the claimant is making a meal of things?  Will the judge be influenced by their own experience – good or bad – while undergoing treatment, or even perhaps use (even subconsciously) what they have been told by their treating doctors as extra-special expert evidence against which the parties’ experts’ opinions will be evaluated? Continue reading “Willmott v The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 181; Cement, shaking heads and arthritic knees”

Bolam under attack: Muller v Kings College Hospital and Webster v Burton Hospitals

This post considering the standing of the Bolam principle is by David Sanderson of 12 King’s Bench Walk.

Two judgments handed down this month explore the boundaries of the Bolam principle and limit its application.  In the first, Kerr J doubted that Bolam was apposite where the court is concerned, not with a choice between two courses of treatment, but instead with a missed diagnosis.  In the second, the Court of Appeal rejected the judge’s application of Bolam, in circumstances where a patient had been entitled to information about risks before deciding between treatment options. Continue reading “Bolam under attack: Muller v Kings College Hospital and Webster v Burton Hospitals”