Islington London Borough Council v University College London Hospital NHS Trust: CA 16 Jun 2005

The local authority sought repayment from a negligent hospital of the cost of services it had had to provide to an injured patient. They said that the hospital had failed to advise the patient to resume taking warfarin when her operation was postponed, with the result that she suffered a stroke, which rendered her incapable of looking after herself and required institutional care funded by her local authority. They said that the duty owed by the Trust was a duty not to treat or fail to treat the patient in such a way that she would foreseeably suffer injury, which would cause financial loss to the council in the provision and the care it was obliged to provide.
Held: The claim failed. Though the loss was reasonably foreseeable, but (by a majority) there was not a sufficient degree of proximity between the parties to found the duty of care and it was not fair, just and reasonable to impose such a duty on the Trust.
Buxton LJ said on the issue of reasonable foreseeability: ‘The level of certainty required for an outcome to be deemed, after the event, to have been foreseeable is to a large extent a matter of impression.’
Buxton LJ, Clarke LJ, Ouseley J
[2005] EWCA Civ 596, Times 28-Jun-2005
England and Wales
CitedBourhill v Young’s Executor HL 5-Aug-1942
When considering claims for damages for shock, the court only recognised the action lying where the injury by shock was sustained ‘through the medium of the eye or the ear without direct contact.’ Wright L said: ‘No doubt, it has long ago been . .
CitedJolley v Sutton London Borough Council HL 24-May-2000
An abandoned boat had been left on its land and not removed by the council. Children tried to repair it, jacked it up, and a child was injured when it fell. It was argued for the boy, who now appealed dismissal of his claim by the Court of Appeal, . .
CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .

Cited by:
CitedWest Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd v El-Safty QBD 14-Dec-2005
The claimant sought damages from the defendant surgeon alleging negligent care of a footballer. The defendant argued that he had no duty to the club as employer of his patient who was being treated through his BUPA membership. It would have created . .
CitedHone v Six Continents Retail Ltd CA 29-Jun-2005
The employer appealed a finding that it was liable in damages for negligence to the claimant, and employee who suffered psychiatric injury cause by stress at work. He said he had been left to work very excessive hours, between 89 and 92 hours a . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 January 2021; Ref: scu.226311