This article considers the important clinical negligence decisions over the first half of 2021.
i. There have been three important reported cases involving fundamental dishonesty pleadings by NHS trusts. This is rapidly becoming a defining area of medical negligence law and all practitioners should be aware of it.
ii. The Supreme Court has delivered an extremely important judgment defining the limits of claims for pure economic loss arising from medical negligence in Khan v Meadows.
iii. There has been substantial consideration of the test for negligence and the standard of care. The test in Bolam and Bolitho remains undisturbed.
iv. Clarification on the test for causation in medical negligence cases has been provided in Davies v Frimley NHS Trust, an important point perhaps surprisingly not appealed from the High Court.
v. Vicarious liability is becoming an increasingly complex topic, and this has recently been extended to vicarious liability for self-employed dental surgeons in Hughes v Rattan. This is a developing area and requires close attention.
vi. There have been two more cases in the long line of authorities on secondary psychiatric injuries arising from the death or serious injury of a loved one. Essentially, the position remains unchanged from Paul v Wolverhampton NHS Trust and ultimately Alcock, but we have two newer examples.
vii. There have been timely reminders on points related to expert evidence, success fees, and rights of action against insurers.
Read the Briefing in full here – Briefing Medical Law – August 2021