Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 38 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2013] EWHC 4088 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Judge Collender QC (Sitting as a Judge of the High Court)

Representation Ranald Davidson for the claimant.
  Matthew Barnes for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 18 December 2013


Medical practitioner - Duty of care - Test of liability - Conforming with practice accepted as proper by responsible members of the profession - Claimant's wife dying in defendant's hospital - Claimant issuing negligence proceedings - Whether claimant establishing negligence.

The Case

Medical practitioner Duty of care. The claimant sought damages for negligence following the death of his wife in the hospital for which the defendant NHS Trust was responsible. He contended that her death would have been prevented had her peripheral leg pulses been tested by palpation. The Queen's Bench Division, in dismissing the claim, preferred the evidence of the defendant's expert. On that evidence, the claimant had not established a breach of duty by the doctor. Further, it was highly speculative that, had the doctor palpated the deceased's peripheral pulses, life-saving surgery would have been performed on time.

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