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Secondary victim law update on what constitutes a ‘shocking event’ in a hospital setting (King v Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust)

Published on: 24 June 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Secondary victim law update on what constitutes a ‘shocking event’ in a hospital setting (King v Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

PI & Clinical Negligence analysis: This clinical negligence case involved the court considering what amounts to a ‘shocking event’ as a matter of law to be a secondary victim and bring a claim for damages. The claimant witnessed his severely ill newborn son in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He alleged what he saw met the Alcock criteria to bring a successful claim. The claim failed and was dismissed. The judgment is both a useful and rare example of applying the fourth limb of the Alcock test in a hospital setting following a negligent omission by a defendant hospital. The judge considered whether seeing a baby at risk of dying in a hospital setting can amount to a ‘shocking event’ as a matter of law. Written by Gemma Witherington, barrister at Hardwicke Chambers. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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