Health authority set to sue Eversheds

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Eversheds has been dragged in to a healthcare row that could cost the firm more than £300,000 in damages if its client loses a case in the Court of Appeal.

Client East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (EMSHA) is being sued by the former owners of a nursing home that it closed down in September 1998.

The former owners of Ash Lea Court Nursing Home in Nottingham claim that Nottingham Health Authority, a predecessor of the EMSHA, did not have the right to shut the business down, and are seeking compensation. They are being represented by West End firm Barker Gillette, which has instructed Augustus Ullsein QC of 39 Essex Street.

The former owners have already won their claim at the High Court, but the EMSHA has taken the case to the Court of Appeal, with a hearing set to take place on 19 June.

The EMSHA is being represented by Midlands firm Browne Jacobson, which has instructed Colin McCaul QC, also of 39 Essex Street.

The EMSHA has issued a protective claim form against Eversheds for the damages should it loses the case, on grounds of breach of contract, breach of duty and professional negligence. The Browne Jacobson team is being led by head of business and professional risk Derek Bambury.

In a statement Eversheds said: “A set of proceedings exists against Eversheds by our client, the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority. Those are to be stayed pending the outcome of another case where we are representing the health authority.

“This is purely a procedural matter to preserve our client’s position should they need recourse against Eversheds.”