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Personal Injury Law Journal: May 2014
Anthony Gold

Stephanie Prior examines a range of cases that have arisen due to issues with third-generation contraceptives

In January 2011 I was interviewed on the radio and on TV to discuss the implications of the implanon contraceptive device and its failings.

Paul Jones reviews five areas still causing confusion

We are now over a year on from the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) which brought a whole raft of reforms to the area of legal costs. These reforms were very high profile and have filled many a column inch in the legal press but they are still causing substantial problems for many practitioners. Costs budgets have taken up much of the front page but a number of other areas have caused just as much confusion, primarily due to their inherently complex nature and the manner of their implementation, often spread across LASPO itself, the amended CPR (with a whole new numbering) and various statutory instruments, which does not make it easy for practitioners to tread a path through the detail, particularly when one considers the various transitional provisions and exceptions. What follows, therefore, is a brief consideration of five issues which, to a greater or lesser extent, appear to be causing confusion.

Farrer & Co

In the second part of his article, Christopher Jessel continues to consider injury claims which occurred on recreational land and the issues they create

Particular issues arise in relation to open countryside and rights of access over common land.

Laura Sylvester considers if there has been a softening of judicial approach

Following the Court of Appeal’s decision in 2013, in the landmark case of Andrew Mitchell MP v News Group Newspapers Lts [2013], much has been discussed about the court’s robust attitude towards a party breaching a civil procedure rule, practice direction or terms of a court order. Claimants and defendants were left reeling at the end of 2013 following the ruling in Mitchell and prepared for a future fraught with anxiety and fear of missing deadlines and non-compliance of the CPR, even in the most minor of ways. The age of the collaborative party/party relationship was thought to be over and seemingly, we were at war.

Section 2 Mental Health Act 1983; duty of care; burden of proof

The claimant sustained his head injuries outside the accident and emergency (A&E) department at St George’s just before 16:30 on 15 April 2010. He had been taken there while en route from Wimbledon police station to Springfield University Hospital, pursuant to being ‘sectioned’ under s2 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (the MHA) as a result of a severe psychiatric disturbance – for which purpose he was, initially at least (until handed over to the NHS Trust at A&E), under escort by the police.

Julian Matthews looks at the case law and some recent illustrations

The standard of care the law requires of a doctor has become well established using the terms set out by McNair J nearly 60 years ago in Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957]:

Jim Tindal summarises mental capacity, CPR 21 and Dunhill v Burgin [2014]

Mental capacity presents one of the biggest challenges in personal injury and clinical negligence cases. What may already be a complex case on the facts and law develops an extra layer of complexity, not least the patience and skill required to elicit and implement instructions in respect of someone who struggles to understand the proceedings and who may be unable to manage financially any award after the litigation has concluded. There is a difficult balance, as Lady Hale (giving the only judgment of the court) said in Dunhill v Burgin [2014] at para 2:

Robert Bourne considers a siginificant but often overlooked reform, the arrival of CPR 44.2(8)

In recent years it has been recognised that if a party is bound to receive a certain part of the costs there is no justification for making them wait. CPR Part 44.2(8) provides that where a detailed assessment of costs is ordered the court may also order a payment on account of costs.