Dingley v Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police: HL 11 May 2000

The officer had been injured in an accident in a police van. He developed multiple sclerosis only a short time afterwards. The respondent denied that the accident caused the MS.
Held: There is no proof of what causes MS, but it was common ground that trauma never causes the disease. The question was whether trauma could trigger it. In a small number of cases the onset of symptoms is preceded by trauma, but coincidences can occur. So the theory that trauma triggers the onset of symptoms of MS has to be tested. There was insufficient evidence in this case to support such a conclusion. Appeal dismissed.


Browne-Wilkinson Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead Lord Steyn Lord Hope of Craighead Lord Clyde


[2000] UKHL 14, 2000 SC (HL) 77


House of Lords, Bailii




CitedWatt (or Thomas) v Thomas HL 1947
When Scots Appellate Court may set decision aside
The House considered when it was appropriate for an appellate court in Scotland to set aside the judgment at first instance.
Lord Thankerton said: ‘(1) Where a question of fact has been tried by a judge without a jury, and there is no question . .
CitedBenmax v Austin Motor Co Ltd HL 1955
Except for cases which are expressly limited to questions of law, an appellant is entitled to appeal from the Court of Session to the House against any finding, whether it be a finding of law, a finding of fact or a finding involving both law and . .
CitedIslip Pedigree Breeding Centre and Others v Abercromby HL 1959
The House of Lords should only review concurrent findings of fact in both Outer and Inner House of the Court of Session which depended upon an assessment of credibility by the trial judge if it can be clearly demonstrated that his findings were . .
CitedStephen v Scottish Boatowners Mutual Insurance Association HL 1989
The House was asked whether the skipper of a fishing boat had used all reasonable endeavours to save his vessel, Lord Keith of Kinkel said that the test was an objective one directed to ascertaining ‘what an ordinarily competent fishing boat skipper . .
CitedSmith New Court Securities Ltd v Scrimgeour Vickers HL 21-Nov-1996
The defendant had made misrepresentations, inducing the claimant to enter into share transactions which he would not otherwise have entered into, and which lost money.
Held: A deceitful wrongdoer is properly liable for all actual damage . .
CitedBrodie v British Railways Board HL 1972
. .
CitedDavie v Magistrates of Edinburgh 1953
Issues arose in relation to the expert evidence which had been led.
Held: The court rejected a submission that, where no counter evidence on the science in question had been adduced for the pursuer, the Court was bound to accept the . .
Appeal fromDingley v The Chief Constable, Strathclyde Police 1998
The court was asked whether the development of multiple sclerosis had been caused by physical injury sustained in a motor accident. Medical science was not able to demonstrate the connection between the two, and reliance was placed on . .

Cited by:

See AlsoDingley v The Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police OHCS 9-Oct-2002
. .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Personal Injury

Updated: 22 September 2022; Ref: scu.159048