Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


SUMMARY OF RECENT CASES – PROFESSIONAL AND CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE

Solicitor Not Negligent In Disclosing An Unfavourable Expert Report Or For Allegedly Failing To Resolve A Conflict Of Evidence Between Experts
Boyle v. Thompsons Solicitors, QBD, 27/01/12
Coulson J dismissed the Claimant’s claim for damages for alleged professional negligence against the Defendant firm of solicitors in relation to her claim for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (‘CICA’). The Claimant’s appeal against an award had been rejected by CICA, who had before it conflicting evidence from experts instructed on the Claimant’s behalf. In particular, the Claimant’s psychologist had concluded that her PTSD was permanent and a direct result of an assault by her former partner. The Claimant psychiatrist stated that the PTSD was not permanent and was not solely attributable to the index assault. The Defendant had already put written questions to the psychiatrist. Coulson J rejected the Claimant’s argument that the Defendant should have approached the psychiatrist again to see if she would be prepared to change her view. Coulson J held that the Defendant had no reason to believe that the psychiatrist could offer a different or stronger view and accepted the Defendant’s evidence that to approach the psychiatrist again was too risky as she might express herself in a less favourable way. As such, the Defendant had not breached its duty of care. Furthermore, the psychiatrist’s report had to be disclosed and consequently the Defendant was not negligent in disclosing it.

February 23, 2012 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases