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Summary of Recent Cases, September 2018

15/09/18. Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month. You can also receive these for free by registering for our PI Brief Update newsletter. Just select "Free Newsletter" from the menu at the top of this page and fill in your email address.

Summary of Recent Cases - Substantive Law

Ecila Henderson (A Protected Party, by her Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 1841
This is the latest appellate authority concerning the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42 in the field of negligence. The Appellant suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and, during a serious psychotic episode, she had stabbed her mother to death. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and was subsequently detained under a hospital order, the sentencing judge having stated in his remarks that there was no suggestion that the Appellant should be treated as bearing a significant degree of responsibility for what she had done.

At the time of the killing, the Appellant had been under the care of the Defendant's mental health team. The Defendant accepted that the incident would not have happened but for its failure to respond to the Appellant's marked deterioration, and that its conduct amounted to a breach of its duty of care towards her. However, the judge at first instance decided that her claim against the Defendant (seeking, inter alia, damages for loss of liberty attendant on her detention under the hospital order, and for the loss of part of her inheritance under the Forfeiture Act 1982) was barred by...

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