The importance of choosing expert witnesses and preserving evidence — get it right or pay the price

By Jenny Williams

The decision in Sadar v NHS Commissioning Board (2014), a claim for damages for injuries sustained at birth, is a stark reminder of the evidential issues that arise when claims are not brought until the claimant reaches majority, and how a solicitor’s choice of expert witnesses can make or break their client’s case. This article looks briefly at these two issues.

The claimant was delivered in 1989. Complications during the birth left him with permanent disfigurements. No claim was lodged by the parents but on his majority the claimant brought proceedings contending that his injuries were caused by the negligence of the hospital staff, principally by applying excessive forceps traction during his delivery.

The court, persuaded by the testimony of the defendant’s witnesses of fact and its experts, found in favour of the defendant hospital. The claimant’s injury had been caused by factors outside the control of the hospital staff — there had been no negligence at any stage…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Mills & Reeve briefing.

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