View from Serjeants' Inn Chambers

Must article 2 inquiries seek to identify those responsible for the death?

In February 1989 Patrick Finucane, an Irish Catholic lawyer, was eating dinner with his wife and children when gunmen forced their way into his home and shot him 14 times. Thirty years later this murder remains one of the most notorious events of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’. An inquest the following year examined only the […]

“Delawyering” Inquests – Do as I say, not as I do

What does the Government’s ‘Final Report: Review of Legal Aid for Inquests’ mean for Advocates? This report was published in February 2019. The section entitled ‘Making sure inquests remain inquisitorial’ at paragraphs 184 – 202 is particularly worth reading. The estimated cost of providing representation for families at inquests where the state is represented (a recommendation under review) […]

Cause of death, survivability and statistics: the importance of understanding the difference

R (Chidlow) v Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Flyde [2019] EWHC 581 (Admin) 12 March 2019 Humans’ bodies being such complex organisms it is unsurprising that medical causation is often extremely complicated and that the law regarding the legal causation of medical injuries can be particularly convoluted. Indivisible injuries, multifactorial causation, material contribution, loss of […]

Advice on medication, Montgomery and causation: Hazel Kennedy v Dr Jonathan Frankel

By Sebastian Naughton Jonathan Holl-Allen QC acted for the successful Claimant in this claim against a consultant neurologist who Yip J concluded had failed to discharge his duty when advising in respect of medication to a suspected Parkinson’s Disease patient. The case is (to my knowledge) the first reported clinical negligence claim arising from the […]

Protecting Community Protection Notices

By Frances McClenaghan A defendant cannot defend himself from prosecution for breach of a Community Protection Notice (CPN), on the basis that the CPN is invalid. The reason, stated in Stannard v The Crown Prosecution Service [2019] EWHC 84 (Admin), is that there is an effective means to challenge the CPN – either by exercising […]

No order for costs following withdrawn forfeiture application

In Bennett v Chief Constable of Merseyside [2018] EWHC 3591 (Admin), the High Court confirmed that a district judge was correct to make no order for costs against the police after it withdrew its Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) s.298 application for cash forfeiture. In considering the decision of the district judge, the High […]

The Duty of Candour shows its teeth

By Susanna Rickard From the jaws of the Care Quality Commission this month comes the first ever fine issued for breach of the Duty of Candour.  Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been given a fixed penalty notice for £1,250 for failing to apologise to a bereaved family within a ‘reasonable’ time. A baby had been admitted […]

Not so ‘Fluffy’ – substantial damages for false imprisonment after breach of MCA

Dr Esegbona (on behalf of the estate of Christina Esegbona, deceased) -v- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  [2019] EWHC 77 (QB) Introduction When Mrs Esegbona fell ill in October 2010, requiring a tracheostomy, there was no question she needed hospital care. However, when she was ready for discharge, the Trust’s staff repeatedly ignored her express […]

Scope of duty in clinical negligence cases – CoA MNX v Khan judgment

By Bridget Dolan When is a doctor responsible for losses suffered after they have given bad advice?  According to the Court of Appeal, if the loss is “coincidental”, it’s not recoverable. On 23rd November 2018 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of MNX v Khan [2018]  in which it considered the extent to which the […]

Blog – Childbirth and primary victim claims for mothers

By John de Bono This is the clear takeaway from Whipple J’s powerfully reasoned judgment in YAH v. Medway Foundation Trust, judgment 5th November 2018. The facts are typical of many cerebral palsy cases. The Claimant’s daughter was born after a negligent delay in intervention in the face of signs of fetal distress. The Claimant […]

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