Parallelewelten logo
Parallelewelten The law essay professionals
0115 966 7966 Times 10:00 - 22:00 (BST)

Walters v North Glamorgan NHS Trust [2002] EWCA Civ 1792

NEGLIGENCE – PSYCHIATRIC HARM – SECONDARY VICTIMS – SINGLE TRAUMATIC EVENT – EFFLUXION OF TIME - SUDDEN APPRECIATION OF EVENT BY CLAIMANT

Facts

N, an NHS trust, appealed against a decision granting damages to the claimant (C) for a psychiatric condition C suffered as a result of events which resulted in the death of her infant son (B). A hospital run by N had failed, negligently, to diagnose B's acute hepatitis, and as a result B suffered a seizure which was witnessed by C. The hospital initially informed C that B had suffered no brain damage but it later transpired that B had incurred severe brain damage and would have no quality of life. C agreed to terminate life support and B died in her arms. C brought an action against N for psychiatric damage, which was upheld, and N appealed on the basis that C was insufficiently proximate

Issue

Whether, in order to recover damages for psychiatric harm, the claimant must have witnessed a single traumatic event or its immediate aftermath, or whether, as was the case here, it would suffice that the event itself transpired over a period of hours but the appreciation of the claimant was itself sudden. It was also argued by N that, as a matter of policy, to recognise liability in such circumstances would overextend the ambit of negligence with respect to psychiatric damage.

Held

C was entitled to recover damages as a secondary victim. In such cases the claimant must have witnessed a horrifying event or its immediate aftermath, as C had done. Such an event, moreover, was not limited to one moment in time; a realistic approach had to be taken in such cases, and on a realistic appraisal of the facts C had suffered nervous shock as a result of the sudden impact of being informed of B’s condition.


To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Invest In Your Future Today!
Place an Order
askona.ua

progressive.ua

Buy Testosterone cypionate USA