Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & ors [2016] EWHC 2208 (QB): the eligibility criteria for a bereavement award are inconsistent with the values of modern Britain

This blog is written by John-Paul Swoboda of 12KBW.

The Court of Appeal’s decision in Smith shone a light upon an inadequacy in the law which clinical negligence lawyers have long been aware of; the criteria to determine eligibility for a bereavement award pursuant to section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is unjustifiably discriminatory. In Smith the Master of the Rolls, McCombe LJ, and Sir Patrick Elias all agreed that section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 was incompatible with article 14 (non-discrimination) and that article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) was engaged. A declaration of incompatibility pursuant to section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 was made. Continue reading “Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & ors [2016] EWHC 2208 (QB): the eligibility criteria for a bereavement award are inconsistent with the values of modern Britain”