PI Practitioner – each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area

Disclosure of Claimant’s medical records – ability of Claimant to object and Defendant to seek order for disclosure from 3rd party

Bennett v Compass Group UK and Ireland Limited and Another [2002] EWCA Civ 642

The Court had the jurisdiction to order a claimant to provide all authority so that the defendant could obtain the claimant’s medical records from the claimant’s GP and hospitals. Whilst care should be taken as to the circumstances and terms in which such orders are made, the deputy district judge had not gone beyond his discretion

Wells v OCS Group Limited [2009] 1 WLR 1895

Nelson J, on appeal from Judge Brasse sitting in Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, held that the Judge had been right to refuse the Defendant’s application for pre-action disclosure of the Claimant’s medical records. It was not appropriate to order the Claimant to disclose her private medical records before she had had the opportunity of considering them and their effect upon her claim, with her medical expert if required. Such was not ‘desirable’ within CPR 31.16(3)(d) to dispose fairly of proceedings or to assist the resolution of dispute without the need for proceedings.

Lucas v Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust [2004] 1 WLR 229

The term ‘instructions’ within CPR 35.10(3) was to be interpreted broadly so as to include any material provided to the expert to complete his report, so held the Court of Appeal. Thus, this route could not be used to gain disclosure of documents so included in an experts instructions, unless the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to consider that the statement of instructions given was inaccurate or incomplete (CPR 35.10(4).

Hipwood v Gloucester Health Authority and Others [1995] ICR 999

The Court of Appeal held that the Defendants were entitled to disclosure of the Claimant’s medical records. In a case where liability, causation and damages are all in issue, all medical records are almost certain to be relevant. That will certainly be the norm in a PI case where the claimant is said to have a continuing disability and loss. It may be that there are particular records which are not relevant and which the claimant may wish to keep from a defendant for understandable reasons. In such circumstances, the claimant could indicate to the Court the record in question and the Court could determine the requirement for disclosure.

November 28, 2010 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases