Sanderson v Hull: CA 5 Nov 2008

Insufficient proof of cause of infection

The claimant worked as a turkey plucker. She caught an infection (campylobacter enteritis) at work, and the employer now appealed against a finding of liability. The employer said that the only necessary protection was regular washing of hands. The employee said that she should have been warned of the risk, and that she should not touch her lips while working. The judge had sent out a draft of his judgment which he had amended after representations.
Held: The judge had adopted a practical approach to the representations after the draft judgment had been prepared. The parties had not behaved inappropriately. The substance of the challenge was in the application of the ‘but for’ evidential test; the claimant was unable to prove that the infection was occasioned at work and not elsewhere. The first five conditions set out by Lord Rodger in Barker were applicable. This case was not one where it was impossible for the claimant to have proven causation. The Fairchild exception did not apply. The claimant having failed to establish causation, the appeal was allowed.

Tuckey, Scott Baker, Smith LJJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1211, [2009] PIQR P7, [2009] CP Rep 12
England and Wales
CitedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .
CitedEdwards, Regina (on the application of) v Environment Agency HL 16-Apr-2008
The applicants sought to challenge the grant of a permit by the defendant to a company to operate a cement works, saying that the environmental impact assessment was inadequate.
Held: The Agency had been justified in allowing the application . .
CitedEgan v Motor Services (Bath) Ltd CA 18-Oct-2007
The claimant bought an Audi car from new. He sought to reject it, but now appealed a finding that there was nothing wrong with it. He had said that it pulled to the left. The defendant’s tests showed no such tendency. His own independent test . .
CitedFairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd and Others HL 20-Jun-2002
The claimants suffered mesothelioma after contact with asbestos while at work. Their employers pointed to several employments which might have given rise to the condition, saying it could not be clear which particular employment gave rise to the . .
CitedBarker v Corus (UK) Plc HL 3-May-2006
The claimants sought damages after contracting meselothemia working for the defendants. The defendants argued that the claimants had possibly contracted the disease at any one or more different places. The Fairchild case set up an exception to the . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedClough v First Choice Holidays and Flights Ltd CA 25-Jan-2006
The appellant broke his neck slipping from a wall in a swimming pool in Lanzarote. The wall was not coated with fully non-slip paint. At first instance the failure to use such paint was held negligent for the purpose of the contract between them and . .

Cited by:
CitedWootton v J Docter Ltd and Another CA 19-Dec-2008
The claimant sought damages saying that the contraceptive pill dispensed by the defendant was not the one prescribed by her doctor, and that she had become pregnant and suffered the losses claimed namely care, expenses and loss of earnings flowing . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.277536