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Personal Injury Law Journal: September 2016

In part two of his article, Robert Weir QC continues his compilation of the most significant cases involving liability decisions from the last year

The second part of this article looks at the ways liability was established in clinical negligence, secondary victim cases and some other scenarios.

Matthew White weighs up the ‘but for’ test and material contribution in cumulative cause cases

An article in this publication in 2013 (‘Breach of duty and causation, where are we now?’ by Christopher Sharp QC and Matthew White, PILJ120, November 2013, p6) considered the circumstances in which the court will infer that a breach of duty caused a claimant’s loss. An issue left for another day was that of cases in which there were cumulative causes of injury.

Paul Jones examines a case where a successful defendant paid costs due to delayed disclosure

One of the most frequently raised issues in relation to costs is the conduct of the parties. This is not surprising given that both CPR 44.2 (court’s discretion as to costs) and CPR 44.4 (factors to be taken into account in deciding the amount of costs) expressly confirm that conduct is one of the issues the court must consider when making any costs order or assessment. Commonly, however, arguments over conduct descend into accusation and counter accusation between the parties which ultimately results in the court concluding that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other and declining to make any specific order on the issue. However, there are occasions where conduct can have a significant effect on the outcome of a costs dispute and the recent case of Chapman v Tameside Hospital NHS Trust [2016] provides a good illustration of this and a cautionary tale.

Keystone Law

Steven Conway explains the recent decision in Katie Cruz v Chief Constable of Lancashire [2016] and why it hopefully signals the dawn of a new age for workplace claims

With the passing of s69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA), limitation will soon expire for most pre-Act cases, removing strict liability for breach of statutory duty.

Asbestosis; asbestos exposure; liability; actionable damage

The Court of Appeal decided that a defendant was liable to compensate a claimant for a 2.3% contribution to his asbestosis in Carder v The University of Exeter [2016].

Selena Plowden discusses the legal frameworks and likely objections to the release of documents by an NHS trust

This article addresses difficulties encountered by claimants when seeking disclosure of documents created by a defendant NHS trust during investigations into an adverse incident. Paragraph 3.2 of the revised Pre Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes specifically provides that:

Laura Slader

Independent occupational therapist Laura Slader outlines the role occupational therapy plays in brain injury litigation

Ask most people what an occupational therapist is and they will probably answer, ‘someone who helps people with their occupation’. Yet they usually do not know what this means. I work with people who have suffered injury or illness and need support to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives. I help them back into work or daily routines through the use of purposeful activity. My specialism is in the area of brain injury rehabilitation. My clients may have just been discharged from hospital or be referred to me a year or so later but are suffering mental, emotional and physical problems as a result of their injury. I help them re-learn the skills necessary to manage everyday tasks and work-related activities so they can adapt to their new condition. In order to achieve this, occupational therapy (OT) must take account of all aspects of a person’s life.