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Elizabeth
Accolades
Chambers and PartnersLegal 500
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Elizabeth Hodgson

Called 1993

Elizabeth Hodgson has practiced almost exclusively in the field of injury-related litigation since pupillage in 1993. She acts on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants in a wide range of personal injury and clinical negligence cases. She is instructed by many insurance companies, local authorities, the NHSLA, and the major trades unions.

"Very good with the clients and excellent in court." "A great court performer who goes the extra mile for clients. She exudes confidence, affability and charm. She is extremely knowledgeable and professional in her field."

Chambers & Partners 2018
Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury & Fatal Accidents
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Road Traffic Accidents

Acts on behalf of Claimants and Defendants in claims arising out of road traffic accidents involving serious personal injury. She has particular experience in claims involving very serious and / or multiple injuries, often sustained by motorcyclists, and in fatal accident claims. She has represented parties in road traffic accident cases involving horses and other livestock. She also acts on behalf of Claimants and Defendants in less serious cases, where allegations of fraud are made against one or more parties.

Disease

Instructed in all types of industrial disease cases, by both insurance companies and Claimants. She has particular experience in industrial deafness and asbestos-related disease, and with limitation issues.

Public, Product and Occupiers’ Liability

Elizabeth Hodgson has a particular interest in public liability cases. She is instructed regularly by many local authorities and insurance companies, and by several of the large supermarkets, although she also acts on behalf of Claimants. She has dealt with claims brought by both adults and children arising out of a very wide variety of circumstances. These include: accidents sustained by children in schools and playgrounds; accidents sustained in sports centres and other leisure facilities; accidents occurring on “outward bound” activities; accidents in supermarkets and other shops; accidents befalling visitors and patients in hospital; accidents in or around rented accommodation involving the Defective Premises Act 1972; accidents sustained by trespassers; highway “tripping” accidents; injuries involving animals; and so on. She has represented both Claimants and Defendants in a wide variety of product liability cases, from foreign bodies in ready-sliced cake to shattering glass lamps. Her friends tire of her saying “I’ve done a case about that….”.

Employers’ Liability

Acts for Claimants and Defendants in claims involving accidents in all manner of workplaces, from abattoirs to zoos (really). She is instructed regularly by insurance companies, local authorities and the NHSLA on behalf of Defendants, and by trades unions on behalf of Claimants. She deals frequently with claims arising out of workplace accidents occurring in hospitals, in shops, on construction sites, at height, and in a very wide variety of local authority employment. She has dealt with several cases brought by members of the armed services for injuries sustained in the course of active service. Many of the EL cases with which she deals involve very serious injuries or injuries that have (or are alleged to have) serious psychiatric or psychological consequences, which cases have a potentially high value and often involve disputed medical evidence.

Serious Injury and Catastrophic

Elizabeth Hodgson acts for Claimants and Defendants in claims involving catastrophic or very serious injuries (including brain injury, spinal injury and amputation) on a regular basis, such claims usually arising from road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, medical accidents and, less frequently, public liability accidents. She deals regularly with cases where the claim is said to have a value of more than £500,000. She is presently dealing with several cases where damages are likely to exceed £5million and many where damages will exceed £1million. She has a particular interest in issues of medical causation and mitigation of loss. She is happy to conduct conferences with Claimants at home or hospital.

Clinical Negligence
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Elizabeth Hodgson acts for Claimants and Defendants in wide variety of clinical negligence claims. Many of these are high value claims arising from catastrophic or very serious “birth injuries”.

She has experience of dealing with:

  • Claims arising out of a variety of surgical accidents (often with fatal consequences);
  • Delayed treatment of spinal injuries;
  • Delayed diagnosis of cancer and other life-threatening conditions;
  • Erroneous or delayed treatment of orthopaedic injuries;
  • Ophthalmological negligence;
  • Optometric negligence, particularly with regard to contact lens prescription;
  • Dental negligence;
  • Negligent cosmetic surgery, which claims often involve psychological issues:
  • Failed sterilisation;
  • Negligent ENT treatment;
  • Claims where it is alleged there was a failure to obtain informed consent;
  • Secondary victim claims.

 

Insurance
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Motor Fraud

Elizabeth Hodgson acts for insurance companies and Claimants in road traffic accident claims where allegations of fraud are made against one or more parties. She provides advice at an early stage of such cases with regard to assessment of the credibility of witnesses (often following conference) and with regard to appropriate pleading. She is frequently required to advise in relation to covert surveillance evidence. Claims alleged to involve fundamental dishonesty appear with increasing frequency in her case load.

Costs & Litigation
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Elizabeth Hodgson has been arguing about costs in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence cases on a regular basis for more than 20 years. She has particular expertise in the costs consequences of Part 36 offers. She has ever-increasing experience of conducting costs and case management hearings, particularly in high-value and complex cases.

Inquests
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Regularly represents the interests of insurance companies, NHS trusts, local authorities and families in inquests arising out of deaths in industrial accidents, road traffic accidents, medical accidents and where the Deceased was in detention.

She is always aware that an Inquest is likely to be a distressing experience for not only the family of the deceased but also the witnesses called to give evidence, and so must be handled sensitively. Examples of recent inquests include: 

  • Representing the family of a young farmer who died in a tragic farming accident, in which considerable engineering evidence from the HSE was of importance;
  • Representing an NHS Trust at an inquest into the death of a voluntary psychiatric patient who died after drinking alcohol that he had brought covertly onto the ward;
  • Representing an NHS Trust at an inquest into the death of a young adult carer with a long-standing but recently diagnosed autistic spectrum condition who took an overdose whilst awaiting psychological referral; 
  • Representing an NHS Trust at an inquest into the death of a patient from necrotising fasciitis, where there were complex issues surrounding the respective responsibilities of 2 Trusts;
  • Representing the family of a woman who died following cardiac surgery;
  • Representing the local authority responsible for the social care needs of the resident of a nursing home, who died following an assault by another patient;
  • Representing the family of a man who suffered a catastrophic splenic rupture whilst awaiting investigations into an unusual medical condition and where there were delays in the ambulance transporting him to hospital.
Public & Admin Law
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 Inquests:

Outstanding court advocacy skills and sensitive handling of witnesses both in and out of court, means that our team are in demand. Many have been involved in high profile cases and we are adept at handling media interest in cases.

We offer a continuity of representations from inquests through to any civil actions for damages arising post-inquest. This helps foster strong barrister-client relationships to ensure the best possible outcome.

We have expertise in inquests and public inquiries into deaths involving:

  • Police, prison and immigration custody
  • healthcare (hospital) and GP treatment
  • psychiatric issues including those lacking capacity and or suffering from a mental disorder - occuring both in and outside psychiatric facilities
  • road traffic accidents
  • accidents at work, including industrial disease deaths
  • military personnel
  • high profile public interest cases
  • jury-led inquests
  • human rights issues
  • local authorities and social services
  • schools and other educational establishments
Recommendations
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Chambers & Partners 2018 - Band 2

Represents defendants in personal injury cases related to employer's liability as well as public liability claims. She also acts for claimants arising for allegations of childhood abuse. Her clients include insurers, local authorities, trade unions and the NHSLA.

Strengths: "Very good with the clients and excellent in court." "A great court performer who goes the extra mile for clients. She exudes confidence, affability and charm. She is extremely knowledgeable and professional in her field."

Recent work: Successfully represented the defendant in an application to set aside a notice of discontinuance and obtain a finding of fundamental dishonesty against a claimant who had discontinued his claim in order to avoid the qualified one-way costs shifting provisions.

The Legal 500 2017 - "An incisive advocate, who is excellent with clients."

The Legal 500 2016 -"Very bright and capable with excellent advocacy skills"

The Legal 500 2015 - "Her calm, no-nonsense approach inspires solicitors’ and clients’ confidence"

The Legal 500 2014 - "She has impressive cross-examination skills and is able to read the mood of a judge"

Elizabeth Hodgson has been recommended in the Legal 500 and by Chambers & Partners Guide to the Legal Profession in the field of personal injury regularly since 2007:

Chambers and Partners 2013 - “Elizabeth Hodgson concentrates solely on personal injury and clinical negligence. Her particular focus is on public liability and employers’ liability cases…”

The Legal 500 2103 - Elizabeth is noted for Clinical Negligence matters.

The Legal 500 2011 - Elizabeth Hodgson, who 'works well in the more complex cases'.

Chambers and Partners 2011 - has "exceptional legal knowledge and ability."

The Legal 500 2010 - Elizabeth Hodgson is excellent in court and an expert in industrial disease and workplace injury.

Chambers and Partners 2009 - Wowing her clients with a "non-nonsense style that always achieves excellent results." Elizabeth Hodgson specialises in public and employer's liability claims.

The Legal 500 2009 - Elizabeth Hodgson is an "expert in occupational disease."

Chambers and Partners 2007 - Elizabeth Hodgson wins a wealth of praise for her 'down-to-earth and approachable nature'. She is held in high regard for her knowledge of public and employers' liability."

"an expert in industrial disease, workplace accident and public liability claims" and "a powerful courtroom presence". In the Legal 500 she is described as bringing "great experience and weight" and "dynamic court performer" [2007 edition]

Notable Cases
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Recently Concluded Cases

C: Acted for the Claimant in a claim arising from the death of her husband following a failure to diagnose pseudomyxoma peritonei. Claim settled at JSM.

R: Acted for 2 Defendant NHS Trusts in a claim arising from alleged phrenic nerve damage in the course of thymectomy, with complex issues regarding consent. Claim settled shortly before trial.

B: Acted for the Defendant NHS Trust in a claim arising out of the death of an 18 month old child as a result of an undiagnosed cardiac defect. Successfully defended at trial.

S: Acted with leading counsel for the Claimant in a birth injury claim, where C was profoundly disabled as a result of cerebral palsy. Interim payments obtained and claim settled following negotiations.

W: Acted for the Defendant NHS Trust in a claim arising from a failure to make a timely disgnosis of breast cancer, affecting extent to which Claimant required treatment and her life exectancy. Settled following JSM.

S: Acted for the 3rd party in a complex brain injury case arising out of an alleged injury on scaffolding. Part 20 claim discontinued following service of robust defence.

D: Acted for the Appellant in a CICA claim arising out of childhood sexual abuse, securing substantial award on appeal, including award for loss of earning capacity.

D: Acted for the Defendant in a claim in respect of hand arm vibration syndrome, with medical causation in issue. Successfully defended at trial.

C: Acted for the Claimant in a case of severe e-coli food poisoning in a small child, who developed a rare type of renal failure as a result. Settlement of the case had to be postponed for many years as the long-term prognosis was uncertain, the condition that the Claimant had developed was so rare. Issues as to the appropriateness of an award of provisional damages.

R: Acted for the Defendant in a claim brought by a former pupil of the Defendant’s school for children with special educational needs, who had suffered severe injuries to his arm when he fell through non-safety glass at the Defendant’s school. Complex issues relating to the relevant building regulations with regard to safety glass. Claim dismissed.

F: Acted for the Claimant in a claim for clinical negligence arising out of the treatment of a traumatically induced detached retina, which had left the Claimant blind in one eye. Complex issues relating to breach of duty and causation. Case settled prior to trial.

I: Acted for Claimant in a claim by a daughter who had been sexually and physically abused by her adoptive father as a child. Judgment was obtained against the Defendant and the matter proceeded to assessment of damages, at which the Defendant appeared and acted in person. Delicate and difficult issues arose. Claimant awarded more than £90,000 in damages.

B: Acted for the Defendant in a claim in respect of alleged Complex Regional Pain Syndrome arising out of a minor injury. Conflicting medical opinion as to the genuineness of the Claimant’s alleged disability and video surveillance evidence. Claim for £250,000 settled for a very modest sum shortly before trial.

W: Successfully represented the 3 Claimants in a complicated personal injury claim of modest value arising out of a road traffic accident, against the driver of another vehicle and his insurance company. Insurance Company contended that neither the Defendant nor the 3 claimants were genuine and effectively contended that no accident had occurred between the vehicles.

R: Acted for the Defendant in a claim arising out of an accident in which a young, self-employed father had been fatally injured in a farming accident. Complicated case to value as the deceased was self-employed, was not married to the Claimant and was the biological father of only one of the 4 children of the family.

B: Acted for the Defendant in a claim for more than £1m brought by a self-employed professional woman arising out of a simple tripping accident, as a result of which the Claimant claimed her earnings had substantially reduced. Complicated issues of medical causation. Case settled for very much less than £1m.

S: Successful defence at trial of a claim by a wood machinist for carpal tunnel syndrome with issues relating to both ergonomics and vibration. Liability and medical causation in issue.

M: Successful defence at trial of a claim by a former assembly worker for noise-induced hearing loss, where limitation, liability and medical causation were in issue.

G: Successful defence at trial of a claim by a pipefitter for hand-arm vibration syndrome, where limitation, liability and medical causation were in issue.

B: Acted for the Claimant in a clinical negligence claim arising out of the negligent prescription of contact lenses to a child who had already very poor sight in one eye and whose sight in the “good” eye was irreparably damaged by a catastrophic infection caused by ill-fitting lenses. Difficult issues of causation and valuation. Case settled following JSM for, essentially, the full realistic valuation of the claim.

Reported Cases

Jameson -v- Central Electricity Generating Board and Babcock Energy [1998] QB 323
Effect of "full and final settlement" of a claim by the deceased during his lifetime made by one of 2 joint tortfeasors upon a subsequent claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 by his widow against the other tortfeasor.

Hird -v- Milner [1998] CL
Striking out for want of prosecution.

Philips -v- Derbyshire County Council [1997] ELR 461
Judicial review of decision of Special Educational Needs.

Various Claimants -v- Metro-Cammell Limited and J W Roberts
Asbestos exposure arising from construction of railway carriages.

Wareing -v- Rhodia and Stanton Plc
Effect of alleged industrial environmental pollution upon a dairy herd in Derbyshire.

Law -v- Wansbeck District Council
Whether a local authority was a "provider of services" within the meaning of s 19 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in granting a tenancy of domestic premises to a disabled woman.

Appointments
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Counsel to T & N Compensation Scheme for victims of asbestos exposure (2012)

 

Lectures
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Elizabeth Hodgson regularly provides seminars and training for solicitors and other professional clients, and has spoken at conferences organised by Chambers. Please speak to her clerks for further details.

Personal Details
Education

LLB (Hons), University of Liverpool

Professional Associations

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA) Professional Negligence Bar Association North East Medico-Legal Society Nottinghamshire Medico-Legal Society

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