View from Serjeants' Inn Chambers

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 […]

Disentangling the scope of an inquest

By Nageena Khalique QC Coroner for the Birmingham Inquests (1974) v. Hambleton & Ors. [2018] EWCA Civ 2081 (judgment here). On the evening of 21 November 1974 two successive explosions tore through two busy city centre pubs in the heart of Birmingham. The bombings, thought to be perpetrated by the IRA, resulted in the largest […]

Blog: Application for an inquest into Alfie Evans’ death is without merit

By Bridget Dolan QC R (Allman) v HM Senior Coroner for Liverpool and Wirral The short and desperately tragic life of Alfie Evans, and his parents’ heart-rending fight to have him transferred to Rome for continuation of his life sustaining treatment, has recently been fully played out in the public arena. The public hearings in the […]

The QOCS regime and ‘mixed’ police claims

By Anthony Searle The High Court has held in Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Brown [2018] EWHC 2046 (Admin) that qualified one-way costs shifting (‘QOCS’) protection does not apply automatically in proceedings where a claimant is advancing both a claim for damages for personal injury and a claim other than a claim for damages […]

This was probably suicide: criminal standard of proof no longer required

By Bridget Dolan QC and Debra Powell QC In a roller-coaster judgment the High Court has revolutionised the approach to the conclusion of suicide in the coroner’s courts and has determined that whether the deceased died as a result of suicide is to be determined on the civil standard of proof – on the balance […]

No duty of care owed by employer to employees in civil litigation

In James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] UKSC 40, the Supreme Court has held that the Commissioner owed no duty to protect the economic and reputational interests of officers whose alleged misconduct formed the subject of a civil claim, which the Commissioner had settled…

The Court of Protection endorses use of the Mental Capacity Act

By Michael Mylonas QC The requirement for written consent in schedule 3 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act has caused difficulties in some notable cases. Last week saw another challenge in which Mrs P needed the consent of her husband who had suffered an irreversible brain injury. She turned to the Mental Capacity Act 2005…

Material contribution in acute hypoxic ischaemia

By John de Bono QC There is no doubt that since the decision in Bailey v MoD the claimant’s task in proving causation has become significantly easier because she no longer needs to prove that her condition is worse than it would have been ‘but for’ the defendant’s breach of duty. There are cases where […]

Court of Appeal upholds s.2(1) Suicide Act

It is a criminal offence to assist another person to commit suicide. The Court of Appeal has today rejected a challenge to this offence brought under art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case raises key constitutional and ethical questions…

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