Darren Scott v Nicholas Joseph Gavigan [2016] EWCA Civ 544

The gross carelessness of a pedestrian in running across a road into the path of an oncoming moped driver was not foreseeable and meant that the pedestrian was wholly responsible for the road traffic accident.

However, the court noted that it was doubtful that the pedestrian’s behaviour was a new intervening act (as had been suggested by the trial judge). It was not that uncommon for a claimant to run out into the road carelessly or recklessly. A defendant who collided with such a claimant might not be held negligent (as in this case) or the claimant might be found contributorily negligent to a high degree. Nevertheless, the reason for imposing liability on a defendant was because he should have foreseen a risk and he owed a duty of care not to injure even the foolish. Although recklessness could be sufficient to break the chain of causation, it would be exceptional for a claimant who had established foreseeability, negligence, and causation to be denied any remedy.

July 15, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

Hall v North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, QBD (Judge Forster QC) 26/05/2016

A midwife who had turned away from a woman in the second stage of labour to switch on a machine was not negligent.

The Claimant was under the care of a midwife and a first-year student midwife when she gave birth in the second stage of labour, standing by her bed with the student midwife kneeling behind her. At the time, the midwife was at the other end of the bed to switch on a machine for use during the birth. The baby had fallen onto a pillow and was unharmed other than for a snapped umbilical cord and some mild bruising.

The court found that delivery could not have reasonably been foreseen, preferring the Defendant expert’s evidence. It was reasonable for the midwife to leave the Claimant for the short amount of time necessary to turn on the machine. The midwife had acted reasonably and in accordance with a reasonable body of midwifery opinion. The claim was therefore dismissed.

June 28, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

DS (By his mother and Litigation Friend FS) v Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWHC 1246 (QB)

The Claimant, a child who suffered at least 39 minutes of acute and profound hypoxia immediately before birth which caused brain damage, had failed to establish that there had been a negligent delay of six to nine minutes in his delivery that materially affected his cognitive reasoning abilities. The Court found that there had been a three-minute negligent delay and that the delay had not affected his abilities, as the Claimant had suffered at least 29 minutes of injurious hypoxia. The court found that a saving of six minutes would have made a minor difference but nine minutes would have made a material difference, on the balance of probabilities. The court found that on the evidence, the negligent delay was a maximum of three minutes. The claim for damages for negligent mismanagement of the birth therefore failed.

June 15, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

A handy guide on obtaining medical administrative assistant certification

A handy guide on obtaining medical administrative assistant certification.

Medical administrative assistant is a profession which is quite a lot in demand these days, thanks to the rise in the number of clinical facilities all over the world. By completing a course in medical administrative assistance, individuals become qualified to assist healthcare professionals in various tasks, including preparation of medical documentation, preparation of medical correspondence material, assisting in dictation, maintenance of patient records, ordering of office supplies, preparing arrangements for patient hospitalization and various other administrative tasks which may be performed in a clinical setting.

In order to become qualified to work as a medical administrative assistant, interested individuals need to first complete a specialized medical assistant course. This medical administrative assistant certification program is a course of short duration, which can typically be completed within a year. There are few prerequisites for a candidate to be eligible for this course – candidates will need to pass an assessment test, candidates may be required to hold first aid and CPR certifications and a criminal background verification check will be performed. Some schools also require that candidates hold a high school diploma, although this is not a strict requirement across all schools.

By completing this certification, individuals will gain understanding on the basic clerical skills required to be performed in clinics such as handling of records and bookkeeping. The coursework also helps students develop their communication skills, helps improve computer literacy and helps improve the basics of medical terminology. Some of the general topics to be covered in the coursework include insurance coding, billing, healthcare ethics, basics of financial management, keyboarding and medical transcription.

Across most regions, there are no strict requirements for medical administrative assistants. As such, candidates simply need to obtain certification by completing medical administrative assistant courses in order to be qualified to work in a clinic. This certification can be obtained from various schools and professional organizations offering the course. Courses are also offered in the form of online training programs.  

The compensation packages for medical administrative assistants have been quite good over the past few years. There are a large number of job opportunities and the future outlook is also positive. However, in order to obtain promotions or to get compensated better, administrative assistants will need to spend time working on the job. Over time, promotions may see medical administrative assistants rise up to the ranks of executive assistants or even to office managers.

Working as a medical professional is something which is sought after by a large number of individuals all over the world. While it is not possible for everyone to attain a degree, obtaining certification is relatively easy and can be achieved by almost anyone. With courses offered by many schools being flexible, students can complete certification programs at their own pace. The curriculum and coursework will also ensure that candidates become more sociable, friendly, reliable detail oriented and will also gain good exposure to office management, accounting, bookkeeping and working with software and health records.

May 28, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News

Katie Cruz v Chief Constable of Lancashire & Anor [2016] EWCA Civ 402

The Claimant was escorting a drunk prisoner to a cell. Unusually, the cell door had not been left fully open and was sticking out into the corridor. As the Claimant tried to manoeuvre around the door, the prisoner fell suddenly to the ground, pulling the Claimant down with her. The Claimant sustained significant injury to her arm. The Claimant argued that, because the cell door had not been left fully open, the corridor was not maintained in an efficient state (Reg.5). The judge found that the partially open door presented no foreseeable risk of injury. As such, there was no breach of Reg.5. The Claimant argued that the judge had failed to give appropriate weight to evidence that it was usual practice to leave the doors of empty cells fully open so as reduce the risk of them creating a hazard or blocking the corridor.

HELD: The partially open cell door had to present a foreseeable risk of injury before there could be a breach of Reg. 5. The risk had to be real or material, though not necessarily probable. The evidence was that the risk of injury to a drunk and disorderly prisoner was increased by delay in getting them into a cell (i.e. because the door was not fully open). However, under Reg.5, the foreseeable injury had to be an injury to a worker, not a visitor. The partially open door had not been identified as a potential source of injury to custody officers. There was no evidence of similar previous incidents. The judge was entitled to conclude that the door did not present a real risk of injury to the Claimant and above that inevitably associated with her job. The judge’s decision was within the ambit of reasonable decision-making

May 28, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

Drink driving charges: The things you need to know

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

According to the latest statistics, more than half a million breathalyser tests are performed each year, and on average 100,000 are found to be positive. With such a high number of these charges, it’s surprising how many people still find drink driving law such murky waters to navigate.

It’s important to understand that you can still be charged with an alcohol related motoring offence even if you’re not at the wheel, and that a charge doesn’t always mean an automatic ban. How? Read on to find out…

What is drink driving?

The way in which alcohol affects you can depend on your weight, gender, metabolism and age, but the government legal limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 mg/100ml of blood or 107mg/100ml of urine . Drink driving charges occur when a person is accused of driving and provides a specimen which is over one of these limits.

If the police suspect that you were drunk in charge of a vehicle, an arrest and a requirement for specimens of breath at the police station can still be made. If you have been charged with this offence, it is a defence if established that there was no likelihood driving the vehicle whilst over the legal limit.

Errors and mistakes

Given that these charges rely on a large amount of human procedures, it’s understandable that errors and mistakes can occur along the way. It could be that a breathalyser was faulty, or that the officer made mistakes when operating it or, in the case of failure to provide specimen charges, provided incorrect instructions about how to blow into the machine.

It could be that you have a medical condition such as a lung problem that prevents you from giving the correct requirement for a sample, in which case a charge of “failure to provide specimens” can be defended.

It could even be the case that you were transferred to a hospital for medical treatment and the police may not have followed the correct procedure for obtaining specimens. In any of these cases, it is vital that you seek legal advice.

Does it mean an immediate ban?

This depends on a number of factors, but a charge itself does not mean an inevitable ban. Firstly, it should be noted that there are distinct differences between sentencing for “drink driving” as opposed “drunk in charge” charges. For example, “drunk in charge” does not carry an automatic ban, instead carrying a minimum 10 penalty points, or discretionary disqualification. The solicitors at drinkdrivesolicitor.com can help you avoid conviction and minimise the risk of disqualification

If you found this article of use, please feel free to leave a comment – have you been accused of drink driving recently?

May 18, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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(1) Daniel Greenway (2) Waynsworth Dryden (3) Dean White (4) Simon York (5) Tony Cipullo v Johnson Matthey Plc [2016] EWCA Civ 408

The Claimants appealed against a decision that their claims were claims for pure economic loss not personal injury. They were employed at the Defendant’s chemical factory, which produced chlorinated or halogenated platinum salts. Employees were required to undergo regular skin testing due to the risk of sensitisation (caused by exposure to the salts). The Claimants were found to have become sensitised and were removed from work involving contact with platinum. They claimed damages for loss of earnings in tort and contract. The Defendant accepted that it had failed in its relevant statutory health and safety duties. However, platinum sensitisation is symptomless and did not adversely affect the Claimant’s day-to-day life. As such, the judge held (inter alia) that they had not suffered any physical injury capable of giving rise to a cause of action in tort.

HELD: The judge had been right to find that the Claimants had not suffered an actionable injury (Cartledge v E Jopling & Sons Ltd [1962] 1 Q.B. 189 explained, Cartledge v E Jopling & Sons Ltd [1963] A.C. 758 and Grieves v FT Everard & Sons Ltd [2007] UKHL 39, [2008] 1 A.C. 281 applied). Cartledge involved pneumoconiosis, a condition which (though asymptomatic under ordinary circumstances) was characterised by scarring to the lung tissue. That scarring could have a significant impact on an individual’s life. Grieves concerned asbestos-induced pleural plaques, which were not harmful and did not constitute a physical change which would increase susceptibility to other diseases or reduce life expectancy. The judge below had been right to find that the reasoning in Grieves applied because platinum sensitisation was not harmful in itself in any relevant sense. It was not a “hidden impairment” (Cartledge) with the potential to cause detrimental physical effects affecting ordinary life.

May 15, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

Mohinder Singh Kaira & 5 others v Daljit Singh Shergill & 8 Ors [2016] EWHC 628 (Ch)

An order made by the Supreme Court that one party should pay the other’s costs in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court entitled the receiving party to an immediate assessment of those costs, notwithstanding that the claim was proceeding to trial.

The appellants appealed against a master’s refusal to set aside a notice of commencement of a detailed assessment of costs served by the respondents.

The Court held that the Supreme Court Rules 2009 indicated that the Supreme Court had its own costs regime and an appeal before the Supreme Court was treated as separate “proceedings” for the purposes of costs. Rule 48(1) had the effect that, as a general rule, and unless some different order was made, the receiving party was entitled to proceed to assessment as soon as an order for costs was made, and was required to proceed to assessment within three months. Allowing the receiving party to proceed with assessment immediately, instead of having to wait until the conclusion of the substantive claim, was likely better to accord with the objective of the 2009 Rules of making the Supreme Court accessible, fair and efficient.

April 28, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

Brian James Lear v (1) Hickstead Ltd (2) WH Security Ltd [2016] EWHC 528 (QB)

A Claimant’s negligence claim against the owner of a showground and the contractor managing parking at horse shows was not made out. The Claimant’s injuries sustained while lowering the ramp on his horsebox were not attributable to any default by either Defendant.

The claimant brought a claim under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and in negligence against the first defendant and a claim in negligence alone against the second defendant. C claimed that D’s failures in managing parking had caused someone to manually lift his horsebox ramp. As a result, when he returned to his horsebox and lowered it using the hydraulic controls, it fell on his head causing him injury. C claimed the accident occurred because the horseboxes were parked too close to one another and another horsebox driver had had to manually lift the ramp to get out.

It was held that a duty of care at common law would be established if it was reasonably foreseeable that personal injury would be suffered as a result of the raising or lowering of horsebox ramps belonging to another. The evidence clearly demonstrated that it was reasonably foreseeable that people might have to raise or lower other people’s horsebox ramps. It was also reasonably foreseeable that doing so might cause personal injury. However, in order to establish a breach of the duty of care, the claimant had to show that his horsebox created an obstruction, that that was the reason why whoever lifted it did so and that the obstruction was the result of a breach of duty on the part of D1 and/or D2. The claim failed, as it could not be said that D1 or D2 had done anything which resulted in an obstruction.

Even if there had been an obstruction, it would not have followed that liability would have been established. The mere presence of an obstruction would not amount to a breach of duty provided that there was a reasonable system in place which was designed to prevent obstructions. The system operated by D2 was entirely reasonable. Given the conclusion that there was no breach of duty by D2, the independent contractor employed by D1 to manage parking at the horse show, it had to follow that D1 could be under no liability to the claimant in respect of what D2 did in relation to parking management.

April 15, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

Complicated made simple – take the headache out of batch printing

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

A powerful, fast and user friendly solution that takes the headache out of legal document printing.

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April 12, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News