Re N: CA 20 May 1999

The claimant was a victim of a rape. She alleged that the police had mishandled the prosecution, resulting in the dismissal of the charges against the defendant, which in turn, she said exacerbated her own post traumatic stress disorder.
Held: ‘In my judgment an attempt to formulate a duty of care in this way is wholly misconceived. If a duty of care exists at all it is a duty to take reasonable care to prevent the Plaintiff from suffering injury, loss or damage of the type in question, in this case psychiatric injury. ‘ Clarke LJ: It was at least arguable that where a forensic medical examiner carries out an examination and discovers that the person being examined has a serious condition which needs immediate treatment, a duty is owed to the examinee to disclose those facts.


[1999] EWCA Civ 1452, [1999] Lloyd’s Rep Med 257


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Galbraith CCA 1981
Rejection of Submission of No Case to Answer
The defendant had faced a charge of affray. The court having rejected his submission of having no case to answer, he had made an exculpatory statement from the dock. He appealed against his conviction.
Held: Lord Lane LCJ said: ‘How then . .
CitedCouling v Coxe 7-Dec-1848
A plaintiff in a civil action who has issued a witness summons or subpoena to a witness to attend may have an action against a witness who fails to attend, but the damages recoverable were limited to the costs of an abortive hearing when the . .
CitedCrewe v Field 1896
Claim for damages against witness not attending court.
Held: A plaintiff in such a case could recover as damages the loss which the missing witness could have established. . .
CitedRoberts v J and F Stone Lighting and Radio Ltd 1945
Claim for damages against witness who fails to attend court though summonsed when the case was lost.
Held: the reason why no such claim had in fact succeeded was because of the difficulty in establishing the loss. . .

Cited by:

CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Police, Negligence

Updated: 30 May 2022; Ref: scu.146367