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5th & 12th June 2024 | Clinical Negligence Law with Lunch Webinar

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Join Parklane Plowden's dental negligence specialist, Mike Hill, as he gives two talks aimed at practitioners who either deal with dental claims less frequently, or who feel that they might benefit from a refresher.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>5<sup>th</sup> June -<strong> Understanding Dental Claims</strong> - this first talk will help participants:</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Identify all the common dental negligence scenarios</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Understand the nomenclature and terminology used</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Recognise what records are required from practices and hospitals and when items are missing</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Identify which experts to instruct</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>12<sup>th</sup> June -<strong> Mastering Dental Claims</strong> – Mike’s second talk will help participants:</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Address some of the more unusual dental negligence scenarios</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Get the most out of experts</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Critique expert reports</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>• Address more complex claims such as nerve injury claims</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>If you would like to attend this webinar please contact us via <a href="mailto:events@parklaneplowden.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">events@parklaneplowden.co.uk</a>.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

Setting up a bare trust to manage a child’s interim payments: an analysis of GWS (A Minor by their Litigation Friend FWH) and others v St Thomas Becket Catholic Primary School

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Background</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Claimant was a seven-year-old boy who had suffered life threatening full thickness burns covering 45% of his body surface area. He had received interim payments totalling £430,000, of which £290,000 had been spent. The issue was what should happen to the remaining £140,000 which was left in the solicitors’ client account for the Claimant.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The application</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Claimant proposed that a trust should be set up to administer and manage the interim payments (the trust option). The Trust would be managed by two trustees: the litigation friend and a professional trustee who would work alongside the Claimant’s solicitors.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The decision</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Master Brown refused the application for the following reasons: &nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list {"ordered":true} --> <ol><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The other option for managing the funds was payment into the special account which was managed by the Court Funds Office (CFO). It was argued by the Claimant that there were significant processing delays by the CFO and that this would cause ‘<em>serious problems’</em> with the administration of therapies etc. Master Brown did not find this a compelling argument, commenting that requests for payments often took a few weeks and the process could be expediated if necessary. Furthermore, it was possible to arrange for regular payments to be made.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ol> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The Claimant argued that the trust option provided greater investment opportunities; Master Brown however noted that the current Special Account rate was 6% which was as favourable as other investment returns. In any event, it was likely that further professional advice regarding investment would be required if the trust option was approved, which would lead to further costs.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Master Brown applied significant weight to the costs of the trust option. The costs of the CFO would be ‘<em>substantially less’</em> than the costs of setting up and managing a trust. Master Brown was not satisfied that the costs of setting up and administering the trust were recoverable from the Defendant and therefore these costs would be paid out of the First Claimant’s damages. He commented that ‘<em>even if the trust option had greater advantages to it than I consider it to have, I would be uneasy about an arrangement that committed the Claimant to the level of charges associated with the proposed trust without the reasonable level of certainty that it would be recovered from the Defendant’.</em></li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The Claimant argued that one advantage of the trust option was that it might protect entitlement to benefits which would otherwise be lost. Master Brown noted however that the Claimant was not expected to receive benefits as a minor and therefore this was not a relevant issue now.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Although it was possible that the First Claimant may want to hold his damages in trust on turning 18, this was not the only option available to him. Master Brown was not satisfied that there was an obvious saving to the Claimant if the trust was set up now.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Master Brown therefore found that it was in the Claimant’s best interests for the monies to be paid into the special account in the CFO.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Discussion</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>As with any best interests decision, it is a balancing act of various factors. The compelling points were that the Claimant was likely to have capacity upon reaching the age of 18 and therefore would have the right to access and manage his own award (which would not necessarily require a trust) and the costs of the trust.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Master Brown has placed significant weight on the costs of the investment options. In the absence of any compelling basis for the setting up and maintaining of a trust, investment in the CFO where the costs were very modest was clearly in the Claimant’s best interests.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>In this case, Master Brown commented on the lack of evidence regarding the actual (as opposed to the estimated) costs of setting up and managing the trust and the realistic difficulties in managing payments through the CFO. Those making applications to invest money elsewhere will require cogent evidence as to how the advantages outweigh the costs of managing the investment.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

CCC v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Case Note

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Citation: [2024] 1 WLR</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>High Court of Justice, King’s Bench Division</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Judge: Ritchie J</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Background:</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>This was a clinical negligence claim where the claimant made a single Part 36 offer comprising a lump sum and a periodical payments order (PPO), which the defendant did not accept. Following a trial on quantum, the judge awarded the claimant a lower lump sum, but a higher PPO than her offer. The claimant then sought an order for indemnity costs, the additional award and interest on costs and damages under Part 36.17.&nbsp; She contended that her judgment was at least as advantageous as her offer.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The Claimant’s case:</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The claimant contended that the judgment obtained was at least as advantageous as her Part 36 offer, arguing that the total value of the award (if capitalised, using the agreed life multiplier) was better in money terms than the total value of her offer (if capitalised, using the agreed life multiplier).</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Judgment:</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The court ruled that the judgment obtained was not at least as advantageous as the claimant's Part 36 offer, as the lump sum part of the judgment was not better in money terms than the lump sum part of the offer.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The court found that there was no unfairness to the Claimant, as she could have made Part 36 offers as to each part, as individual offers.&nbsp; It was up to the Claimant as to how the offer was made.&nbsp; In this case she would have beaten her PPO offer and the Part 36 consequences would follow, as to that element.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The system for determining the value of a Part 36 offer should be ‘kept simple and clear’ in order to encourage good practice by using a series of sanctions and rewards.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>In short, it was found (paragraph 18):</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><em>“For an offeror to beat her Part 36 combined offer, she has to beat both parts.&nbsp; If she wishes protection for each part then individual offers can be made.”</em></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>This is a useful case, which clarifies a point for which there was previously no authority.  It may lead to more offers being made comprising of the individual elements in the future.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

Success at Trial for Leila Benyounes in Birth Injury Clinical Negligence

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Leila Benyounes has succeeded at trial in a birth injury clinical negligence claim, at which breach of duty and causation were in dispute.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The claim involved serious injuries suffered by the Claimant during the birth of her first child.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>During the delivery, the Claimant suffered a significant and life-threatening post-partum haemorrhage, and she sustained multiple tears including a third-degree internal perineal tear. The Claimant required blood and plasma transfusions and suffered a prolonged recovery period with significant pain and the development of a psychological injury.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Claimant’s case, as found by the judge at trial, was that she sustained an uncontrolled delivery due to the negligence of the Defendant. Liability had been denied by the Defendant throughout the claim.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The trial was heard over five days in which disputed oral expert evidence on liability, causation, and quantum from six experts was heard, including in the disciplines of midwifery and obstetrics.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Leila acted for the Claimant throughout this successful claim, including at trial, in respect of pleadings and conducting conferences with the experts. It was successfully argued that the Defendant was negligent in the particular circumstances of the delivery, based on the expert evidence heard on breach of duty and causation, and it was found that the negligence materially contributed to the Claimant’s injuries.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Claimant was successful in her causation and quantum arguments resulting in her beating her own Part 36 offer and obtaining favourable consequences for her damages, interest, and the Claimant’s costs pursuant to Part 36.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Leila was instructed by Hayley Collinson at Hudgells Solicitors.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><em>Leila is a specialist in the fields of Clinical Negligence and Inquests. She is Head of the Inquests Team at Parklane Plowden Chambers and is ranked as a leading junior in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for Clinical Negligence and Inquests and Inquiries. Her full profile can be accessed </em><a href="https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/barristers/leila-benyounes"><em>here</em></a>.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->