allin v city and hackney health authority

Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority [1996] 4 All ER 771 is an important English tort law case, on the standard of care required by medical specialists. It is important to note at this point the distinction the law makes between the duty a defendant has towards primary victims and the duty a defendant has towards secondary victims. user on your corporate account. Instead, as a means of separating legitimate and illegitimate claims the law states that psychiatric injury must manifest in a medically recognised condition. Informa UK Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 1072954 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. As seen in McLoughlin v O’Brian[1983] 1 AC 410, this extends a relatively long time after the instigating event. A B and others v Tameside and Glossop Health Authority and Trafford Health Authority: CA 13 Nov 1996. It was held that for primary victims, foreseeability of a physical injury is sufficient to allow a primary victim to claim for a psychiatric injury. Secondary victims cannot recover when the defendant is also the primary victim. The first of these groups are rescuers – those who attend the scene of an accident. It should be emphasised that the rule is that there must be a close emotional link, not necessarily that the secondary victim must be a husband or parent of a primary victim. These restrictions can be separated into two camps – firstly, there are restrictions on the nature of the psychiatric harms which can be claimed for. 292 of F.Supp.3d Reporter Series. This was held to be a valid claim – the claimant had a reasonable belief that he had killed someone.This was later refined so that the claimant had to be present when death or injury occurred. VAT Registration No: 842417633. male mental illness was ascribed to wimpiness, women were thought of as being hysterical etc.). This means that cases involving ‘slow burn’ illness (such as long term exposure to a harmful influence) are unlikely to be recoverable under this heading of damages. General Rule Two: Psychiatric Injuries Must Be Caused by a Sudden Event. *You can also browse our support articles here >, Leach v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, White and Others v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police. This can be seen in Attia v British Gas[1988] QB 304. The aim of this paper is to consider whether the decision of the House of Lords in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] 4 All.E.R. A doctor was summoned but did not attend as her bleep was not working due to low battery. Not all psychiatric harms are recognised by the law equally. Secondly, whilst the elements of negligence (duty, breach, causation, remoteness) are the same for claim involving psychiatric harm, there are certain principles governing the exact forms that they take. However, had some psychiatric injury been foreseeable, then the defendant would have been held accountable for the full extent of the claimant’s condition – not just that which could be reasonable foreseen. Our collection is up to date within 24 hours of release of opinions from the courts and is also complete historically for all time for Federal courts and back to 1950 for state appellate and supreme courts Allin v City and Hackney Health Authority [1996] 7 Med LR 167. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. It should be noted that the rule is not that seeing a primary victim die or get injured on a TV broadcast makes a claim invalid. more. Firstly, there must be a close emotional link between the traumatic event and the claimant’s psychiatric injury. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. Bolitho v City & Hackney HA [1998] AC 232 Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 12:07 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority: HL 24 Jul 1997 References: Gazette 10-Dec-1997, Times 27-Nov-1997, [1997] UKHL 46, [1998] AC 232, [1997] 4 All ER 771, [1997] 3 WLR 1151 Links: House of Lords , Bailii Facts. Request a trial In Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, the House of Lords followed and applied the ‘ Bolam principle’. Protected by copyright. This can be seen in Leach v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary[1999] 1 WLR 1421. As can be seen, none of these criteria are particularly strict. The doctor summoned to deal with the matter never received the summons due to a low battery on her bleep. Allin v City & Hackney HA Medical negligence — Gynaecology — Post traumatic stress disorder — Claim by mother that she suffered injury when misinformed that her baby had died and learnt, about six hours later, that baby had survived — Further claim that defendants failed to refer her for psychological treatment — Case No: MY451226 In contrast, the psychological ramifications of such an accident can be much further reaching. In Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co [2007] UKHL 39, the courts rejected claims for anxiety caused by the claimant’s knowledge that they might later develop a serious disorder, because the anxiety had not manifested itself in any diagnosed state. Notably, there was one claimant who did develop a mental illness as a result of this anxiety, and so surpassed this hurdle. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. These three criteria combined provide the basis for a claim as a secondary victim. Secondly, the ‘egg-shell skull’ (as often seen in criminal law) applies to psychiatric injury. Allin v City & Hackney Health Authority [1996] 7 Med LR 167; Farrell v Avon Health Authority [2001] Lloyd’s Rep Med 458 father told his newborn had died. However, there is some obvious basis for restricting claims for psychiatric harm stemming from a negligent act. The source for this principle can be found in White and Others v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police[1999] 2 AC 455. It was agreed that the only course of action to prevent the damage was to have the boy intubated. This can be seen in Walters v North Glamorgan NHS Trust[2002] EWCA Civ 1792. 1)[1997] 1 All ER 577, pathological grief (read: really serious grief) constitutes a medically recognised condition in tort law. Historically, the reasoning becomes a little clearer – it is only in recent years that psychological illness has become relatively well understood and accepted as a facet of healthcare, whereas in the past it was far more likely to be seen as a character flaw (e.g. (AB v Tameside and Glossop Health Authority (1997) ), but less reluctant when the negligence lay in the giving of wrong information (Allin v City and Hackney HA (1996) ). In Page v Smith [1996] AC 155 the court held that that two classes of claimants exist with regard to psychiatric injury; primary and secondary. In 1998, the English Law Commission reported on the state if this aspect of negligence law. Registered in England and Wales. Assuming the above rules have been followed, the next step is establishing a duty of care between claimant and defendant. It follows the Bolam test for professional negligence, and addresses the interaction with the concept of causation. In essence, this means that a claimant’s particular psychiatric injury does not need to be foreseeable – the mere fact that some psychiatric harm is foreseeable is enough to satisfy the criteria. In other words, there must be at least a rough correlation between the harm done to the primary victim and the secondary victim’s experience of the harm. In other words, if an individual negligently causes themselves a horrible injury, a secondary victim cannot sue for psychiatric injury, as per Greatorex v Greatorex[2000] 4 All ER 769. When dealing with secondary victims, it must be reasonably foreseeable that a psychiatric injury might occur to someone in the given circumstances. There are a few other principles which apply in cases of psychiatric injury. In other worlds, the courts largely require that the secondary victim be closely related in some way to a primary victim. As a means of controlling the claims made under the heading of psychiatric injury, the courts have also stipulated that such injury must now be caused by a sudden event. Informa UK Limited is part of Informa PLC. It should be noted that the case failed – there was insufficient proximity between the defendant and the claimant, although it still stands as an example of miscarriage as a medically recognised injury for the purposes of tort. (APPELLANT) v. CITY AND HACKNEY HEALTH AUTHORITY (RESPONDENTS) ON 13 NOVEMBER 1997 LORD BROWNE-WILKINSON My Lords, This appeal raises two questions relating to liability for medical negligence. Decisions Vol. Court case. In-text: (Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, [1996]) Your Bibliography: Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1996] All ER 4 (UKHL). Note: such people are now regarded as secondary victims, although for a short while they were seen as primary victims. Although not strictly a psychiatric injury (rather, a physical harm occasioned by psychiatric trauma), there are a number of cases in which traumatic events have been linked to miscarriages. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies. Indeed, it was mooted in McFarlane v EE Caledonia Ltd[1995] 2 All ER 1, that should the situation be sufficiently grievous a bystander might be able to claim – although it should also be acknowledged that the claim was rejected in this case. It should also be noted that this rule becomes proportionally more relaxed in relation to the seriousness of the harm to the primary victim.  Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority 4 All ER 771: A two-year old boy suffered brain damage as a result of the bronchial air passages becoming blocked leading to cardiac arrest. LORD BROWNE-WILKINSON. Whilst, broadly, the primary victim category is relatively straight forward to understand, there have been two specific groups of people that the law has historically placed in the primary category. • Recipients of distressing news (AB v Glossop & Thameside HA [1997] 8 Med LR 91; Allin v City and Hackney HA [1996] 7 Med LR 167) • Victims of extreme or outrageous practical jokes (Wilkinson v Downton [1897] 2 QB 57) • Victims of workplace stress (Hatton v Sutherland [2002] EWCA Civ 76; Example: Adekanmbi (deceased) v … As a general rule, sadness, grief or general distress are not covered – they are held to be expected parts of everyday life. References: Gazette 04-Dec-1996, Times 27-Nov-1996, [1996] EWCA Civ 938, [1996] 35 BMRLR 39 Links: Bailii Coram: Brooke LJ The claimant suffered from PTSD (and a stroke) due to the failure of the defendant to provide proper support to her. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority. City and Hackney Health Authority continued (back to preceding text) Where, as in the present case, a breach of a duty of care is proved or admitted, the burden still lies on the plaintiff to prove that such breach caused the injury suffered: Bonnington Castings Ltd. v. Wardlaw [1956] A.C. 613; Wilsher v. A child was brought to a hospital suffering from breathing abnormalities. The main issue in Bolitho v City of Hackney Health Authority 4 All ER 771 was to establish that the defendant breached their duty of care to the claimant. subscribers. The distinction between actionable grief and anxiety and non-actionable grief and anxiety can be seen in two cases. James Watt. V was in hospital and suffered respiratory problems twice and recovered, the doctor having failed to turn up. He argued that the hospital owed him a duty of care not to communicate false or misleading information about his cancer diagnosis, following the line of ‘misinformation’ psychiatric injury cases of Allin v City & Hackney Health Authority (1996) 7 Med LR 167 and Farrell v Avon Health Authority … Allin v City and Hackney Health Authority [1996] 7 Med LR 167. Although the case law regarding secondary victims focuses on seeing other people get hurt, there is precedent to suggest that seeing property destroyed can be sufficient to establish a case for psychiatric injury. Medical Law - English Tort Law - Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority *UK LAW* - Essential for Medical Interviews & Examinations of all levels. As per Alcock, this duty of care is based on three elements – foreseeability, proximity, and nature of ‘shock’. Secondly, the secondary victim must be both close in terms of ‘spatial and temporal proximity’ (translation: same time, same place.) Close, i-law is part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa PLC. General Rule One: Psychiatric Injuries Must Be Medically Recognised. City & Hackney Health Authority [1996], including the detail of the case and its implications. Physical harm will usually be restricted to the passengers in the involved vehicles, with some associated property damage. Whilst these were included in the primary category in Alcock, the law has since been modified so that rescuers are only considered primary victims when they are either objectively exposed to danger or they hold a reasonable belief that they are in danger. The first, which I believe to be more apparent than real, relates to the proof of causation when the negligent act is one of omission. Because of this, it is often helpful to think of each of them as existing along a spectrum, in combination with the seriousness of the involved incident, so a relationship spectrum, a proximity spectrum, and a perception spectrum. Rather, whilst cases involving spouses and parents have a rebuttable presumption towards there being a sufficiently close relationship, other relationships can satisfy this criterion. 85 of S.E.2d Reporter Series. Find out Whilst a layman may conclude that the doctors acted negligently, a Court is unable to ignore evidence from a professional that is capable of standing up to rational analysis. The former class includes those directly involved in an accident or incident (for example, those in the car for traffic accidents), and the latter includes those who witness the accident or incident. Judgement for the case Bolitho v City & Hackney HA. Finally, there is precedent to suggest that negligently presenting shocking news to someone that can meet the standard for actionable psychiatric injury. The courts apply what is known as the 'Bolam' test in deciding whether a doctor has been negligent, as modified in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority. My Lords, This appeal raises two questions relating to liability for medical negligence. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. AVMA Medical & Legal Journal 1999 5: 1, 17-20 Download Citation. Bolitho v City & Hackney Health Authority [1997] 3 WLR 1151 House of Lords A 2 year old child was admitted to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties. Fauquier County. Injurious News. In Hinz v Berry[1970] 2 QB 40, the courts made a distinction between the morbid depression that the claimant suffered and ordinary in-actionable grief. Instead, the logic in Alcock was that it was impossible to identify individual primary victims from the broadcast, and so whilst viewers might know a close relation was in that particular stand of the stadium, they could not directly see the harm done to them. In an earlier case, Allin v City & Hackney Health Authority [1996] 7 Med LR 167 (CC), the plaintiff successfully claimed damages for PTSD suffered after being misinformed that her baby had died and then learning, six hours later, that in fact it had survived. They were seen as primary victims between actionable grief and anxiety can be seen in two cases provide proper to. The state if this aspect of negligence law Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold Nottingham... Hospital and suffered respiratory problems twice and recovered, the next step is establishing a duty of care is on. And vice versa state if this aspect of negligence law the harm to the passengers the. To provide proper support to her access to the seriousness of the instigating.... Doctor summoned to deal with the concept of CAUSATION n 1, 17-20 Citation. Shock ’ or purchase women were thought of as being hysterical etc. ) summoned but did not as! 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