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Summary judgment application can be resisted where expert evidence not exchanged.

Posted on 26th October, 2018

BARRY FREDERICK HEWES v (1) WEST HERTFORDSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST (2) EAST OF ENGLAND AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST (3) PANKAJ TANNA [2018] EWHC 2715 QBD 18/10/2018

 

The case concerns a client with cauda equina syndrome (CES) where there was an alleged delay in surgery leading to permanent bowel and bladder dysfunction.  It was argued that after a conversation, the doctor should have contacted the hospital immediately so that assessment was expedited by the orthopaedic team leading to earlier surgery, avoiding a complete CES and permanent consequences.  In his summary judgment application, the doctor included his expert’s report which stated that no responsible GP would have contacted the hospital to expedite assessment.  Summary judgment was granted.  Ultimately, it was decided that the master had erred as the parties had not exchanged expert evidence and such an application could not be contemplated in such circumstances – before exchange.

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