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PSYCHIATRIC INJURY: Picking up the pieces

26 May 2017  

Liam Ryan investigates unintended tragedies and the scope of secondary victims

It is a fact of life that tragedies happen. When confronted by such events, the question that is often faced by personal injury practitioners is to what extent can a defendant be liable for the far-reaching and unpredictable consequences of an act of negligence? Legally the scope of liability is recognised as not being restricted to the actual victim, but is capable of extension beyond the primary victim of an act of negligence. Establishing where to draw the cut-off point has been an issue that the courts have wrestled with for decades however, especially in cases of psychiatric injury where the identification of injury is more complex.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1991] UKHL 5

    Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Ronayne [2015] EWCA Civ 588

    McLoughlin v O’Brian [1982] UKHL 3

    RE (A Minor) v Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 824 (QB)

    Wild v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWHC 4053 (QB)

Last modified on 31 May 2017