Helen Mulholland successful for vulnerable client in contentious limitation hearing.

Judgment was handed down in the case of Aderounmu v Colvin [2021] EWHC 2293 (QB) last week. Master Cook heard limitation as a preliminary issue in a complex clinical negligence case.

The Claimant seeks to bring a clinical negligence action against the Defendant GP on the grounds that, in December 2010, the GP failed to refer him for urgent treatment for a suspected stroke and that, as a result, he has suffered serious neurological injury. The claim was issued in October 2017; in case managing the matter, the Court ordered that limitation ought to be tried as a preliminary issue.

The Judge heard complex evidence and arguments on capacity, date of knowledge and exercise of the discretion under section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980 over 5 days earlier this year.

The Judge accepted that the Claimant had suffered serious neurological injury and considered that the case was very finely balanced. He did not accept that the Claimant lacked the capacity to conduct the litigation in question, but recognised that the Claimant requires help and support to make decisions relevant to the litigation.

Having accepted that the Claimant did have capacity to conduct the clinical negligence litigation, the Judge also concluded that the Claimant had actual and constructive knowledge in December 2010, but he considered that – given all the circumstances of the case – he ought to exercise his discretion under s33 to allow the action to proceed. 

The case will now proceed to a trial on liability and quantum.


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