piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Privatising the Courts - things can only get better?

“Err... sorry but, we have your skeleton argument, but the Judge says he doesn’t have any other documents from the Defendant. It seems half the court file has been lost”   This was the lament from a very long-suffering court usher to the author just yesterday morning ahead of a Fast Track trial. It is not an unfamiliar complaint in most barristers' experiences. Indeed, ... [More]

Criminal joint enterprise denies injured party damages

 Ex turpi causa is one of those doctrines which we learn when we study law but rarely get to use in anger.  But in a judgment published today the Court of Appeal has upheld a judge’s decision to deny the claimant any recovery against his uncle whose dangerous driving caused him a serious head injury. The claimant and the driver, his uncle, had carried out a theft of some ladders ... [More]

When is a dentist not a dentist? Tooth whitening and the Dentists Act 1984

The nation's passion for cosmetic enhancement continues apace.  When I was a child we Brits were as perplexed by the American obsession with even shiny white teeth as the Americans were by our yellow snaggly tombstones.  Nowadays simply turning on the television can be blinding.  Every presenter, actor and popstar seems to bare even rows of bright, white veneers.  I am often re... [More]

Never say never again... "Never events" and NHS Performance

Most people don't know that the NHS has a list of "never events", being a list of preventable events that should never happen.  The October 2012 Never Events Policy Framework defines never events as "serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by healthcare providers".  The Framework contain... [More]

Rare s 33 success for defendants

Cynical defendant lawyers regard applications under s 33 of the Limitation Act to extend time for bringing personal injury proceedings as invariably going the claimants’ way.  Some see it as effectively a statutory abolition of the limitation period.    However, the High Court has this week refused an extension for a claimant with lung cancer allegedly caused by his his... [More]

Res Ipsa Loquitur: it's all just Latin to me...

  In recent years, the maxim of res ipsa loquitur has fallen out of fashion. Whether this reflects the more robust procedural rules governing disclosure (meaning that the cause of an accident can normally be ascertained) or the modern judicial dislike of distracting and potentially misleading latin epithets, is unclear. The low-point for the doctrine probably came in the judgment of Lord Just... [More]

Children, car seats, parental responsibility and the law

Choosing car seats is an agonising and expensive process for parents.  Group 0? Group 0+? Straight to a Group 2 or via Group1?  Rearward facing to age 4 or forward facing from age 1?  It is confusing, stressful and wrapped up with heavy societal pressure to be a "good parent".  Like seatbelts and cycle helmets the courts have now had to turn their minds to a case... [More]