In this post Charley Turton of 12KBW discusses the recent decision of HHJ Coe QC (sitting as a High Court Judge) in Collyer v Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 3577 (QB). The Claimant suffered permanent nerve palsy of the hypoglossal nerves during laryngectomy. In 145 years of the operation being conducted such an injury had never been reported. C argued that in these circumstances human error was the most likely cause and a “presumption of negligence” arose.
As clinical negligence lawyers, we know all too well that the quality of the medical expert evidence can win or lose a case. Hence the importance of careful selection of the expert (including looking at reported cases for judicial remarks on the expert), clear instructions, sharp analytical skills upon receipt of the report to assess its strength and weaknesses, and a willingness to politely but robustly challenge the expert in conference.
In this post Vanessa Cashman of 12KBW examines the recent decision of Lord Pentland [siting in the Outer House of the Scottish Court of Session] in Andrews v Greater Glasgow Health Board  CSOH 31.
The deceased attended hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea, both black in colour and was discharged with a diagnosis of gastroenteritis. She was taken back to hospital the following day where extensive necrosis of her bowel was discovered. She died the next day.
Breach of duty, principally in relation to whether she should have been admitted on her initial attendance, and causation were in issue. D’s case on causation was that C couldn’t prove when her acute deterioration occurred and therefore couldn’t prove that admission would have prevented her death.
The Court considered the relevant test for causation and considered that both “but for” causation and the material contribution test were satisfied.
In May 2018, Mr Justice Spencer found that Mr Christos Tolias, a consultant neurosurgeon, had been negligent in giving his patient heparin too early following spinal surgery. This led to the patient suffering a haematoma which, in turn, compressed the spinal cord and resulted in incomplete paraplegia.
Mr Tolias obtained permission to appeal on a single ground: that the judge failed to address the key question, namely whether giving antithrombotic medication to this particular patient within 3 hours of surgery was a breach of duty.
The appeal was dismissed.
In this blog Vanessa Cashman of 12KBW examines the recent decision of Whipple J in Yah v Medway NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2964 (QB), a case concerning a claim by a mother for psychiatric damage arising out of the birth of her daughter.
In this post Isaac Hogarth of 12 KBW examines the recent case of Manzi v King’s College Hospital NHS FT  EWCA Civ 1882 in which the Court of Appeal considered whether to interfere with the trial judge’s findings in relation to whether there had been a negligent failure to detect and remove a portion of retained placenta following childbirth. The Court also considered in particular whether the trial judge ought to have drawn an adverse inference from the Defendant’s decision not to call a particular doctor as a witness.
In this post Thea Wilson of 12 KBW considers the recent case of Williams v CWM Taf Local Health Board, in which the Court of Appeal gave further guidance regarding the heavy burden on claimants of satisfying the Bolitho test.
Before HM Senior Coroner Christopher P Dorries OBE, Sheffield Coroner’s Court. Narrative conclusion handed down on 11 December 2017.
Rory Badenoch represented the family of the Deceased, Kay Morrison, at a 4-day inquest into the circumstances of her death at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield on 21 June 2015. The Coroner concluded that the failure to take and act upon a proper history of multiple antibiotic treatments in the past materially contributed to her death from sepsis.