The Court of Appeal has given judgment on three cases where close relatives claimed compensation for psychiatric injuries suffered as a consequence of witnessing the collapse of their loved ones.
The Court of Appeal has today given its judgment in the cases of Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Polmear v Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust and Purchase v Ahmed (13 January 2022).
Browne Jacobson LLP instructed Charles Bagot QC and Charlotte Jones on behalf of NHS Resolution, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Dr Ahmed. The decision clarifies how the proximity test should be applied in clinical negligence cases.
In all three cases, close relatives claimed compensation for psychiatric injuries suffered as a consequence of witnessing the collapse of their loved ones.
Since the House of Lords decision in Alcock v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police (1992), the courts have limited the extent to which Defendants can be held liable for psychiatric injuries suffered by close relatives.
The Court of Appeal have concluded that:
The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeals made by the NHS Trusts in Paul and Polmear and dismissed the appeal by Tara Purchase.
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